In this luminous novel—winner of Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize—John Berger relates the story of “G.,” a young man forging an energetic sexual career in Europe during the early years of this century. With profound compassion, Berger explores the hearts and minds of both men and women, and what happens during sex, to reveal the conditions of the Don Juan’s success: his essential loneliness, the quiet cumulation in each of his sexual experiences of all of those that precede it, the tenderness that infuses even the briefest of his encounters, and the way women experience their own extraordinariness through their moments with him.
All of this Berger sets against the turbulent backdrop of Garibaldi and the failed revolution of Milanese workers in 1898, the Boer War, and the first flight across the Alps, making G. a brilliant novel about the search for intimacy in history’s private moments.
One of the most widely admired writers of our time returns us to the captivating play and narrative allure of his previous novels—G. and To the Wedding among them — with a shimmering fiction drawn from chapters of his own life.One hot afternoon in Lisbon, the narrator finds his long-dead mother seated on a park bench. “The dead don’t stay where they are buried,” she tells him. And so begins a remarkable odyssey, told in simple yet gorgeous prose, that carries us from the London Blitz in 1943, to a Polish market, to a Paleolithic cave, to the Ritz Hotel in Madrid. Here Is Where We Meet is a unique literary journey that moves freely through time and space but never loses its foothold in the sensuous present.
From one of the most impassioned of writers of our time, this powerful collection of essays offers a stark portrait of post-9/11 realities. John Berger occupies a unique position in the international cultural landscape: artist, filmmaker, poet, philosopher, novelist, and essayist, he is also a deeply thoughtful political activist. In Hold Everything Dear, his artistry and activism meld in an attempt to make sense of the current state of our world. Berger analyzes the nature of terrorism and the profound despair that gives rise to it. He writes about the homelessness of millions who have been forced by poverty and war to live as refugees. He discusses Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Serbia, Bosnia, China, Indonesia-anyplace where people are deprived of the most basic of freedoms. Berger powerfully acknowledges the depth of suffering around the world and suggests actions that might finally help bring it to an end.
As Dickens and Balzac did for their time, so John Berger does for ours, rendering the movement of a people and the passing of a way of life in his masterwork, the Into Their Labours trilogy. With Lilac and Flag, the Alpine village of the two earlier volumes has been forsaken for the mythic city of Troy. Here, amidst the shantytowns, factories, and opulent hotels, fading heritages and steadfast dreams, the children and grandchildren of rural peasants pursue meager livings as best they can. And here, two young lovers embark upon a passionate, desperate journey of love and survival and find transcending hope both for themselves and for us as their witnesses.
A collection of interwoven stories, this is a portrait of two worlds — a small Alpine village bound to the earth and by tradition, and the restless, future-driven culture that will invade it — at their moment of collision. The instrument of entrapment is love. Lives are lost and hearts broken.
With this haunting first volume of his Into Their Labours trilogy, John Berger begins his chronicle of the eclipse of peasant cultures in the twentieth century. Set in a small village in the French Alps, Pig Earth relates the stories of skeptical, hard-working men and fiercely independent women; of calves born and pigs slaughtered; of summer haymaking and long dark winters f rest; of a message of forgiveness from a dead father to his prodigal son; and of the marvelous Lucie Cabrol, exiled to a hut high in the mountains, but an inexorable part of the lives of men who have known her. Above all, this masterpiece of sensuous description and profound moral resonance is an act of reckoning that conveys the precise wealth and weight of a world we are losing.
The writing career of John Berger — poet, storyteller, playwright, and essayist — has yielded some of the most original and compelling examinations of art and life of the past half century. In this essential volume, Geoff Dyer has brought together a rich selection of many of Berger’s seminal essays.
Berger’s insights make it impossible to look at a painting, watch a film, or even visit a zoo in quite the same way again. The vast range of subjects he addresses, the lean beauty of his prose, and the keenness of his anger against injustice move us to view the world with a new lens of awareness. Whether he is discussing the singleminded intensity of Picasso’s Guernica, the parallel violence and alienation in the art of Francis Bacon and Walt Disney, or the enigmatic silence of his own mother, what binds these pieces throughout is the depth and fury of Berger’s passion, challenging us to participate, to protest, and above all, to see.
The pocket in question is a small pocket of resistance. A pocket is formed when two or more people come together in agreement. The resistance is against the inhumanity of the New World Economic Order. The people coming together are the reader, me, and those the essays are about — Rembrandt, Paleolithic cave painters, a Romanian peasant, ancient Egyptians, an expert in the loneliness of a certain hotel bedroom, dogs at dusk, a man in a radio station. And unexpectedly, our exchanges strengthen each of us in our conviction that what is happening in the world today is wrong, and that what is often said about it is a lie. I’ve never written a book with a greater sense of urgency.
— John Berger
At the height of his powers, Pablo Picasso was the artist as revolutionary, breaking through the niceties of form in order to mount a direct challenge to the values of his time. At the height of his fame, he was the artist as royalty: incalculably wealthy, universally idolized−and wholly isolated.
In this stunning critical assessment, John Berger−one of this century's most insightful cultural historians−trains his penetrating gaze upon this most prodigious and enigmatic painter and on the Spanish landscape and very particular culture that shpaed his life and work. Writing with a novelist's sensuous evocation of character and detail, and drawing on an erudition that embraces history, politics, and art, Berger follows Picasso from his childhood in Malaga to the Blue Period and Cubism, from the creation of Guernica to the pained etchings of his final years. He gives us the full measure of Picasso's triumphs and an unsparing reckoning of their cost−in exile, in loneliness, and in a desolation that drove him, in his last works, into an old man's furious and desperate frenzy at the beauty of what he could no longer create.
A blind Greek peddler tells the story of the wedding between a fellow peddler and his bride in a remarkable series of vivid and telling vignettes. As the book cinematically moves from one character's perspective to another, events and characters move toward the convergence of the wedding-and a haunting dance of love and death.