Selected Essays of John Berger

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 10, 2008 - Art - 608 pages
The writing career of Booker Prize winner 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.

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Photographs of Agony
Paul Strand
Uses of Photography
The Primitive and the Professional
Millet and the Peasant
Seker Ahmet and the Forest
La Tour and Humanism
Francis Bacon and Walt Disney

Jacques Lipchitz
Ossip Zadkine
Fernand Léger
Pablo Picasso
Henri Matisse
Oskar Kokoschka
The Clarity of the Renaissance
The Calculations of Piero
Poussins Order
Watteau as the Painter of His Time
The Honesty of Goya
The Dilemma of the Romantics
Millet and Labour
The Politics of Courbet
Gauguins Crime
FromThe Moment of Cubism
The Moment of Cubism
The Historical Function of the Museum
The Changing View of Man in the Portrait
Art and Property Now
Image of Imperialism
Nude in a Fur Coat
The Painter in His Studio
Et in Arcadia Ego
The Maja Dressed and The Maja Undressed
Mathias Grünewald
L S Lowry
Henri de ToulouseLautrec
Alberto Giacometti
Pierre Bonnard
Frans Hals
Auguste Rodin
FromThe Look of Things
Peter Peri
Le Corbusier
Victor Serge
Walter Benjamin
Drawings by Watteau
Fernand Léger
Thicker than Water Corot
Painting a Landscape
Understanding a Photograph
The Political Uses of PhotoMontage
The Sight of a Man
Revolutionary Undoing
Past Seen from a Possible Future
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
The Booker Prize Speech
Speech on Accepting the Booker Prize for Fiction at the Café Royal in London on 23 November 1972
FromAbout Looking
Why Look at Animals?
The Suit and the Photograph
An Article of Faith
Between Two Colmars
Courbet and the Jura
Turner and the Barbers Shop
Rouault and the Suburbs of Paris
Magritte and the Impossible
Romaine Lorquet
FromThe White BirdUS titleThe Sense of Sight
The White Bird
The Storyteller
The Eaters and the Eaten
On the Bosphorus
The Theatre of Indifference
Modiglianis Alphabet of Love
The Hals Mystery
In a Moscow Cemetery
A Philosopher and Death
A Requiem in Three Parts
Drawn to That Moment
The Eyes of Claude Monet
The Work of Art
His Language and His Death with Anya Bostock
The Hour of Poetry
The Production of the World
FromKeeping a Rendezvous
Note to the Reader
Evry Time We Say Goodbye
That Which Is Held
A Load of Shit
A Story for Aesop
The Ideal Palace
Imagine Paris
A Kind of Sharing
Christ of the Peasants
A Professional Secret
Ape Theatre
The Opposite of Naked
A Household
Drawing on Paper
Erogenous Zone
The Soul and the Operator
The Third Week of August 1991
A Note on the Editor

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About the author (2008)

John Berger was born in London in 1926. He is well known for his novels and stories as well as for his works of nonfiction, including several volumes of art criticism. His first novel, A Painter of Our Time, was published in 1958, and since then his books have included Ways of Seeing, the fiction trilogy Into Their Labours, and the novel G., which won the Booker Prize in 1972. In 1962 he left Britain permanently, and lived in a small village in the French Alps. He died in 2017.

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