Londres, Reino Unido, 1926 - Antony, París, Francia , 2017
John Berger is not only a great writer, he is an intellectual who stands out due to his political commitment. He is also one of the most influential art critics of recent years. He trained as a painter at the Central School of Arts in London, but years later, in the middle of the cold war, he gave up painting to write full-time, because he considered it a more suitable medium for expressing his ideas. He has written novels, essays, plays, films, photographic collaborations and created performances, and his career has been characterised by unceasing exploration. His best-known books include G. – which won the prestigious Booker Prize–, the trilogy Into Their Labours and Ways of Seeing, an essay which is an introduction to the study of images and has become a classic text on art history.
- "I admire and love John Berger's work ... In contemporary literature, Berger seems to be peerless. Not since Lawrence has there been a writer who offers such attentiveness to the sensual world with responsiveness to the imperatives of conscience." Susan Sontag
- "In the fight between despair and the light, only the existence of someone like Berger makes the combat meaningful." Isabel Coixet
- "John Berger's works live between genres and are absolutely contemporary. Mixing poetry, essay-writing and even the most personal journalism, his works are an attempt at transcendent reflection, without losing sight of recent history, nor of metaphysics or any glimpse of lyrical thought." Luís Antonio de Villena, El Cultural in El Mundo
- "His work seems to have been created with a watchmaker's precision, and an intimacy that could be confused with tenderness." The New York Times Book Review
- "His most comparable contemporaries are Umberto Eco or the late WG Sebald, but it is difficult to compare him: Berger broke all the moulds." The Guardian
- "Berger's books have the peculiar quality of seeming to be only incidentally, books. Constructed of words, they yet wear their words lightly, almost reluctantly, as if they might as easily have been made of paint and canvas or, better yet, of clay and straw, mud and bone." Herald Tribune
'This is a book about painting and swimming and how touch and voice can make light. It is about the way thoughts can drift to Cambodia and Gaza while doing the lengths in a public pool in Paris; how a Sho paint brush can turn into a bird and how the act of painting and swimming is like starting life all over again. Dive into this essential, desirable conversation between John Berger and Leon Kossoff and you will feel ever invigorated.’ Deborah Levy (from the Introduction)Read more
It all begins with a letter, a little heavier than usual. The father, a writer, has sent his son, a painter, some reproductions of paintings, along with a few lines – a wave of the hand from far away, a loving thought. The son answers. First with an image, then with a question, an intuition. And now a dialog begins.Read more
Short stories and novellas
Anthology / Selection
“Wrought with a miniaturist's precision.” New York Times
“John Berger has given us an exquisite thing. This is a book of controlled rage sculpted with tools of tenderness and a searing political vision.” Arundhati Roy
“From A to X is one of the most tender and poignant books I have read for many years. Its power rests in its economy of means, its account of enduring love surviving oppression. It demonstrates that however foul the forces oppressing us, love and the human spirit are indestructible.” Harold Pinter
In the dusty, ramshackle town of Suse lives A’ida. Her insurgent husband Xavier has been imprisoned. Resolute, sensuous and tender, A’ida’s letters to the man she loves tell of daily events in the town, and of its motley collection of inhabitants whose lives flow through hers. But the town is under threat, and as a faceless power inexorably encroaches from outside, so the smallest details and acts of humanity assume for A’ida a life-affirming significance, acts of resistance against the forces that might otherwise extinguish them.
With the poetic acuity that renders his work timeless, John Berger brings us a 24-hour chronicle of homelessness. Beside a highway, in a wasteland furnished with smashed trucks and broken washing machines, lives a vagrant community of once-hopeful individuals, now abandoned by the twentieth century.
King, our narrator, is the guardian of a homeless couple, stealing meat from the butcher and sharing the warmth of his flesh. His canine sensibility affords him both amnesty from human hardship and rare insight into his companions' lives. Through his senses we see –clearly and unsentimentally– the dignity and strength that can survive within chaos and pain.
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.
In 1974, John Berger embarked on Into Their Labours, a trilogy of novels that traces the journey of the European peasant from the mountains to the metropolis. Pig Earth, Once in Europa and Lilac and Flag are the three volumes that make up the trilogy.
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.
"A contemporary masterpiece" (New York Review of Books)
A powerfully unsettling, mordantly witty story about the pitfalls of free will. In the course of a day, the ageing owner of an employment agency is propelled into a fantasy world through his romantic yearnings and inarticulate dreams, seeking an illusory freedom from the bonds of responsibility.
At the heart of John Berger's second novel is not so much a murder - a policeman has been killed in a bank raid - but a murderer. Jack House, an alleged 'cop killer', has been apprehended but so badly hurt that he might die before he is tried and hanged. And so, in the middle of the night, he is rushed to the nearest hospital, an ordinary National Health institution, and is later placed, under police guard, in an ordinary ward with six other patients.
The Foot of Clive is a fascinating depiction of English society at a peculiar point in its history - after the Second World War but before the heady pop-consumer explosion of the sixties. In fact, its setting, a hospital ward –with its nurses, doctors and badly-paid attendants, its unseen but omnipresent 'Authority', and, most important, its six patients– is in itself a picture of English society writ small. It is a picture of rigid and conformist culture, its conventions about right and wrong, class and morality unchallenged and unquestioned, until disrupted by the greatest questioner of them all: the embodiment of the anti-social and uncivilised - a murderer.
Exiled in London, the Hungarian artist Janos Lavin disappears one day, into thin air. His journal offers his friend John the only clues to where he has gone, and why. John Berger's first novel is a passionate exploration of the artistic process, and a gripping detective story.
Short stories and novellas
It is not always easy to tell, in the work of John Berger, where fiction meets autobiography—or, for that matter, essay and meditation. His latest book takes the form of encounters the author has with characters from the past—Jorge Luis Borges, Rosa Luxemburg, mentors, tutors, and lovers—in cities across Europe, from Lisbon and Madrid to Geneva and Kraków. One by one, the apparitions turn up, artfully and reverentially sketched, before vanishing again with just the whisper of a message left behind. In Lisbon, city of trams and azulejos, Berger encounters the spirit of his long-departed mother and reflects, “Perhaps Lisbon is a special stopover for the dead, perhaps here the dead show themselves off more than in any other city.”
Executed in a time of upheaval, Goya's portraits of the aristocracy, and his other etchings and drawings form a devastating comment on the society in which he lived. The authors depict Goya, drawing on episodes of his life and the iconography of his art, responding to his theatrical style.
Obra escrita conjuntamente con Nella Bielski. Se estrenó en Suecia (The Royal Dramatic Theatre), Francia (Theatre Nationale de Marseille; Le Theatre National de l’Odéon) e Inglaterra (Royal Shakespeare Company). Hubo adaptaciones radiofónicas en Alemania (DRS-2) y Suiza, y la francesa Antenne 2 filmó una versión televisiva en el teatro Odeon de París.
Collected Poems reflects Berger’s longstanding concerns with art and politics, love and war, history and memory, emigration, immigration and the life of the European peasantry. It includes well-known poems like ‘The Ladle’, ‘Village Maternity’ and ‘Death of La Nan M.’ as well over twenty previously unpublished poems. From ‘My Coney’ (written in 1952 when Berger was just twenty-six) to ‘They Are the Last’ written in 2008, Berger the poet demonstrates an enduring commitment to the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. These are perfectly framed still-life images, sensual and plain, delicate sketches of hard lives caught between the provisional quality of language and the permanence of things. John Berger’s Collected Poems reveals its author to be a major poet of our time.
Sostiene Berger que los poemas no se parecen a los cuentos ni siquiera cuando son narrativos. Todos los cuentos, dice, tratan sobre alguna guerra —terminan en victoria o derrota—, mientras que los poemas atraviesan el campo de batalla socorriendo a los heridos y escuchando a los que deliran. Por eso están más cerca de las oraciones, porque ofrecen algún tipo de paz.
Desde una brevedad contenida, prescindiendo de adornos y de retóricas superfluas, Berger disecciona vidas que emprenden un viaje sin retorno: la emigración rural a la ciudad; el camino hacia el desarraigo. A través de veintiún poemas, el autor transmite la respiración de la montaña y su paisaje, la actividad agraria y también la urbana, y habla de unos personajes que, como el cristal, exhiben sus emociones al mundo.
Published to celebrate John Berger's 70th birthday, this is a collection of his poems, drawings and photographs. It includes 46 poems written between 1956 and 1994. "At Remaurian", a sequence of poems from the early 1960s is accompanied by nine photographs taken by Berger.;There are two gate-fold triptychs of drawings, as well as a self-portrait made in 1945 when Berger was an art student.
Over to you is a collection of letters about art exchanged in 2015 and 2016 by John Berger, himself a painter and an art critic, and his son Yves Berger.
It all begins with a letter, a little heavier than usual. The father, a writer, has sent his son, a painter, some reproductions of paintings, along with a few lines – a wave of the hand from far away, a loving thought. The son answers. First with an image, then with a question, an intuition. And now a dialog begins. The letters become longer and longer, deeper and deeper, more and more intimate. As they recall individual emotions and common memories, father and son, as equals, address an experience which they both share: painting and how to look at it, how to make it.
“John Berger and Selçuk Demirel started conceiving and working on this book in 2016. Time as a philosophical concept that changes along the historical and political seasons of thought; the time of memory and mourning; the time of love and hope; the time of the biological body, imprisoned in its implacable rhythms, and that, eternal, of consciousness; the time of resistance and revolt, of project and of vision; the time of dreams and invention, of writing and drawing. John Berger did not have the time to complete this four-handed adventure. He went “elsewhere” on January 2, 2017, with the haste of a hare that goes into hiding."(Excerpt from the prologue by Maria Nadotti)
The texts are full of the keen originality that characterises John Berger’s work, splendidly illustrated by Selçuk Demirel. The two already worked together on Man on a Beach, Cataract and Smoke, which have been translated into several languages.
'Language is a body, a living creature ... and this creature's home is the inarticulate as well as the articulate'. John Berger's work has revolutionized the way we understand visual language. In this new book he writes about language itself, and how it relates to thought, art, song, storytelling and political discourse today. Also containing Berger's own drawings, notes, memories and reflections on everything from Albert Camus to global capitalism, Confabulations takes us to what is 'true, essential and urgent'.
“John Berger teaches us how to think, how to feel how to stare at things until we see what we thought wasn’t there. But above all, he teaches us how to love in the face of adversity. He is a master.” (Arundhati Roy)
With Portraits, John Berger took us on a captivating journey through centuries of art, situating each artist in the proper political and historical contexts. In Landscapes, a narrative of Berger’s own journey emerges. Through his penetrating engagement with the writers and artists who shaped his own thought, Walter Benjamin, Rosa Luxemburg and Bertolt Brecht among them, Landscapes allows us to understand how Berger came to his own way of seeing. As always, Berger pushes at the limits of art writing, demonstrating beautifully how his painter’s eyes lead him to refer to himself only as a storyteller. A landscape is, to John Berger, like a portrait, an animating, liberating metaphor rather than a rigid definition. It’s a term, too, that reminds us that there is more here than simply the backdrop or ‘by-work’ of a portrait. Landscapes offers a tour of the history of art, but not as you know it.
"Not since D.H. Lawrence has there been a writer who offers such attentiveness to the imperatives of conscience." Susan Sontag
Smoke is a personal memoir of smoke: “There’s never smoke without fire.” A delicious little book, biting and poetic, combining aphorisms and reflections about smoke in its different manifestations. On these pages, smoke is revealed as an ambivalent sign of the transformations in modern society. Through the illustrations, we see the contrasts between past and present in potent images: “We smoked in trains and even on planes,” but overnight, “Smokers became inadvertent killers.”
The texts are full of the keen originality that characterises John Berger’s work, splendidly illustrated by Selçuk Demirel. The two already worked together on Man on a Beach and Cataract, which have been translated into several languages.
"Smoke, then, really is a gift, only not one that you merely purchase—Berger always hated the idea of art as commodity. Instead, and against all cynicism, it’s something passed between Berger, Benjamin, Demirel, and the reader, who together form a smoking circle wherein a story might be told. Smoke, for those who will have it, is a cigarette of late style." Jonathon Sturgeon, Art in America
John Berger takes us through centuries of drawing and painting, revealing his lifelong fascination with a diverse cast of artists. In Portraits, Berger grounds the artists in their historical milieu in revolutionary ways, whether enlarging on the prehistoric paintings of the Chauvet caves or Cy Twombly’s linguistic and pictorial play.
In penetrating and singular prose, Berger presents entirely new ways of thinking about artists both canonized and obscure, from Rembrandt to Henry Moore, Jackson Pollock to Picasso. Throughout, Berger maintains the essential connection between politics, art and the wider study of culture.
Recopilación de ensayos que tienen el arte como leitmotiv.
The book includes the correspondence of John Berger with John Christie, sor Lucia Kuppens and sor Telchilde Hinckley, an account of their visit to Le Corbusier’s chapel at Ronchamp in 2009.
Railtracks is a unique collaboration between two writers of remarkable achievement. A profound meditation on railways, love and loss, at once intimate and committed, it moves from the industrial to the metaphysical, from the tectonic shifts of globalization to the interior pulses of memory, and from the present to a past that still exists in vivid, essential traces.
This sensual and exploratory dialogue is accompanied throughout by the evocative photography of Tereza Stehlíková, charting its own atmospheric passage by train through the forested, winter landscapes of Southern Bohemia.
“Behind my right eye hangs a burlap cloth; behind my left eye there's a mirror. . . Before the burlap the visible remains indifferent; before the mirror it begins to play.”
What happens when an art critic loses some of his sight to cataracts? What wonders are glimpsed once vision is restored? In this impressionistic essay written in the spirit of Montaigne, John Berger, whose treatises on seeing have shaped cultural and media studies for four decades, records the effects of cataract removal operations on each of his eyes. The result is an illuminated take on perception. Berger ponders how we can become accustomed to a loss of sense until a dulled world becomes the norm, and describes the sudden richness of reawakened sight with acute attention to sensory detail. This wise little book beckons us to pay close attention to our own senses and wonder at their significance as we follow Berger's journey into a more vivid, differentiated way of seeing. Demirel's witty illustrations complement the text, creating a mini-world where eyes take on whimsical lives of their own. The result is a collaborative collectors' piece perfect for every reader’s bedside table.
“Cataract from Greek kataraktes, meaning waterfall or portcullis, an obstruction that descends from above.' Notes and reflections by one of our great soothsayers of seeing, John Berger, on the minor miracle of cataract surgery. With drawings by the Turkish artist Selcuk Demirel. 'If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.” —William Blake
A meditation, in words and images, on the practice of drawing.
The seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza—also known as Benedict or Bento de Spinoza—spent the most intense years of his short life writing. He also carried with him a sketchbook. After his sudden death, his friends rescued letters, manuscripts, notes—but no drawings.
For years, without knowing what its pages might hold, John Berger has imagined finding Bento’s sketchbook, wanting to see the drawings alongside his surviving words. When one day a friend gave him a beautiful virgin sketchbook, Berger said, “This is Bento’s!” and he began to draw, taking his inspiration from the philosopher’s vision.
In this illustrated color book John Berger uses the imaginative space he creates to explore the process of drawing, politics, storytelling and Spinoza’s life and times.
John Berger broke new ground with his penetrating writings on life, art and how we see the world around us. Here he explores how the ancient relationship between man and nature has been broken in the modern consumer age, with the animals that used to be at the centre of our existence now marginalized and reduced to spectacle. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
John Berger's startling, lucid, poetic essay depicting the period of history through which we are living.
A powerful meditation on political resistance from one of the most original and influential thinkers of our times.
From the War on Terror to resistance in Ramallah and traumatic dislocation in the Middle East, Berger explores the uses of art as an instrument of political resistance. Visceral and passionate, Hold Everything Dear is a profound meditation on the far extremes of human behaviour, and the underlying despair. Looking at Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq, he makes an impassioned attack on the poverty and loss of freedom at the heart of such unnecessary suffering. These essays offer reflections on the political at the core of artistic expression and even at the center of human existence itself.
The Red Tenda of Bologna is a beautiful new short story by John Berger. A meditation on memory and loss, an ageless uncle, and the secrets of a city.
"The advantage of the untold is that it cannot be dismissed as ordinary..."
With drawings by Paul Davis.
Recoge una serie de textos que reflexionan sobre las dificultades que entraña la maestría en el dibujo. Los análisis de los trabajos de Vincent van Gogh, Antoine Watteau, Martin Noël, Juan Muñoz o las pinturas rupestres de la cueva de Chauvet se entremezclan en una búsqueda de la técnica de los maestros. Berger evoca experiencias que solapan el enigma que rodea al arte y nuestras propias vidas, y se pasea por varias categorías literarias: del relato al ensayo, pasando por las cartas o los diálogos.
Here the question of beauty is tackled in the interlacing of photographic and written approaches. Jean Marquis produced portraits of Giacometti in his studio, Mark Trivier photographed Giacometti’s sculptures. John Berger, following his reflection, particularly that on his distance from Borges, Francis Bacon and Nicolas de Staël, sees this book as the pursuit of a realm of experience where the sharing of knowledge is also a meeting, where that to which everyone attests is not a state of being, but a shared movement of becoming, where the imprint everyone leaves behind is not that of a forward march, but of a tension.
Colección de textos e imágenes que ensambla los muchos aspectos de una personalidad dispersa. Narrador, guionista, dramaturgo, periodista, crítico literario, crítico de arte, John Berger eligió la no especialización como un estilo de vida. Esta obra es una pincelada de su poliédrica actividad.
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’sGuernica, 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
Un hombre sentado en una oficina sueña con la playa. Dentro de su mente, ve la orilla, la profundidad del mar, la línea del horizonte... Sin cortapisas, dibuja figuras en el inmaculado lienzo del cielo. Luego, ya en su casa, rodeado por libros, intenta comprender esos sueños. Las ilustraciones de Selçuk Demirel invitan al lector a zambullirse en el onírico relato. La narración de John Berger acompaña a lo largo de un cuento memorable.
Recopilación de ensayos políticos en los que Berger denuncia la búsqueda del beneficio como motor único de la humanidad. Incluso el arte se valora solo por su capacidad para transformarse en riqueza. Todo, incluido el hombre, se ha puesto al servicio de la acumulación material.
Like a photographer with his camera, John Berger uses words to capture moments: preserving them, denying their inherent transience. A passing encounter, an almost unnoticed gesture, a brief pause –Berger observes and transcribes them, and in so doing uncovers the extraordinary heart of the ordinary. This collection of stories brings a richly imagined landscape of elusive and ephemeral moments into eloquent existence.
This book is first a dialogue between a daughter and a father about life, physical sensation, mortality. Both seem to listen to the other with great attention. Secondly it is the extraordinary vehicle for a series of insights into the everyday life and the art of the great Venetian master, following an uncanny incident at the large exhibition of his work staged in Venice in 1990. While attending the exhibition Katya meets an old man, who she becomes convinced can only be the ghost of the great painter. Her 'spiritual' visitor engages her in conversation about the minute particularities of painting some of the pictures there. She shares this experience with her father in a letter. He accepts the encounter at face value and discusses the historical background to the old man's remarks, seeking answers to a series of evidential questions about his daughter's encounter. From then on, the three of them, the old painter, the daughter, and the father discuss animals, Greece, fur, sexuality, the strangeness of drawing.
Five full centuries lie between us and the life of Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). His ability to represent a subject with an absolute fidelity to every detail seemed miraculous to his contemporaries, and still astounds us now: we need only think of his water-colours of plants and animals.
In addition, Dürer was the first painter to devote such close attention to the art of the self-portrait. No artist before him painted as many as he.
When he stands before Giorgione's La Tempesta, John Berger sees not only the painting but our whole notion of time, sweeping us away from a lost Eden. A photograph of a gravely joyful crowd gathered on a Prague street in November 1989 provokes reflection on the meaning of democracy and the reunion of a people with long-banished hopes and dreams.
With the luminous essays in Keeping a Rendezvous, we are given to see the world as Berger sees it –to explore themes suggested by the work of Jackson Pollock or J. M. W. Turner, to contemplate the wonder of Paris. Rendezvous are manifold: between critic and art, artist and subject, subject and the unknown. But most significant are the rendezvous between author and reader, as we discover our perceptions informed by John Berger's eloquence and courageous moral imagination.
Recopilación de textos en los que Berger aporta su visión de la realidad contemporánea. Aunque marxista confeso, Berger no renuncia nunca a una mirada original, que a menudo se aleja de todas las convenciones.
Berger aproxima a la trayectoria personal, la obra y el tiempo del gran pintor español. Su pretensión es proporcionar un contexto que ayude a una mejor comprensión del artista.
In the mythic city of Troy, amidst the shanty-towns, factories, opulent hotels, fading heritages and steadfast dreams, the children and grandchildren of rural peasants pursue meagre livings as best they can. And two young lovers embark upon a passionate journey of love and survival.
Essays from About Looking and the Sense of Sight, 1988.
Collection of essays.
With this provocative and infinitely moving collection of essays, John Berger responds to the profound questions posed by the visual world. For when he writes about Cubism, he writes not only of Braque, Léger, Picasso, and Gris, but of that incredible moment early in this century when the world converged around a marvelouis sense of promise. When he looks at the Modigiliani, he sees a man's infinite love revealed in the elongated lines of the painted figure.
Ranging from the Renaissance to the conflagration of Hiroshima; from the Bosphorus to Manhattan; from the woodcarvers of a French village to Goya, Dürer, and Van Gogh; and from private experiences of love and of loss to the major political upheavals of our time, The Sense of Sight encourages us to see with the same breadth, courage, and moral engagement that Berger does.
'Those who read or listen to our stories see everything as though through a lens. This lens is the secret of narration, and it is ground anew in every story, ground between the temporal and the timeless ... In our brief mortal lives, we are grinders of these lenses'.
When John Berger wrote this apparently unclassifiable book, it was to become a sensation, translated into nine languages and indelible from the minds of those who read it. This stunning work is a shoebox filled with delicate love letters containing poetry and thoughts on mortality, art, love and absence, capturing moments in time that hover above Berger's surprising landscapes. From his lyrical description of the works of Caravaggio and profound explorations of death and immigration to the sight of some lilac at dusk in the mountains, this is a beautiful and most intimate response to the world around us.
A collection of interwoven stories. It presents a portrait of two worlds - a small Alpine village bound to the earth and by tradition, and the restless, future-driven culture that invade it - at their moment of collision.
Photographs don't lie –or do they? Two of our most thoughtful and eloquent interrogators of the visual examine the ambiguities of what is seemingly our most straightforward art form. Another Way of Telling explores the tension between the photographer and the photographed, between picture and viewer, and between the filmed moment and memories it resembles.
A fictional exposition and exploration of the crumbling foundation of traditional French peasant society and the uncomfortable implications of deracination in modern life.
Photography by Jean Mohr
Why does the Western world look to migrant laborers to perform the most menial tasks? What compels people to leave their homes and accept this humiliating situation? In A Seventh Man, John Berger and Jean Mohr come to grips with what it is to be a migrant worker—the material circumstances and the inner experience—and, in doing so, reveal how the migrant is not so much on the margins of modern life, but absolutely central to it. First published in 1975, this finely wrought exploration remains as urgent as ever, presenting a mode of living that pervades the countries of the West and yet is excluded from much of its culture.
"The influence of the series and the book ... was enormous ... It opened up for general attention areas of cultural study that are now commonplace." Geoff Dyer in Ways of Telling
John Berger's Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the Sunday Times critic commented: 'This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures.' By now he has.
'Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.'
'But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but word can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.'
"Berger is probably our most perceptive commentator on art…A civilized and stimulating companion no matter what subject happens to cross his mind." Philadelphia Inquirer
In this prescient and beautifully written book, John Berger examines the life and work of Ernst Neizvestny, a Russian sculptor whose exclusion from the ranks of officially approved Soviet artists left him laboring in enforced obscurity to realize his monumental and very public vision of art. But Berger’s impassioned account goes well beyond the specific dilemma of the pre-glasnot Russian artist to illuminate the very meaning of revolutionary art. In his struggle against official orthodoxy –which involved a face-to-face confrontation with Khruschev himself– Neizvestny was fighting not for a merely personal or aesthetic vision, but for a recognition of the true social role of art. His sculptures earn a place in the world by reflecting the courage of a whole people, by commemorating, in an age of mass suffering, the resistance and endurance of millions.
"I find it hard to believe that the most extreme Cubist works were painted over 50 years ago. It is true that I would not expect them to have been painted today. They are both too optimistic and too revolutionary for that. Perhaps in a way I am surprised that they have been painted at all. It would seem more likely that they were yet to be painted. Do I make things unnecessarily complicated? Would it not be more helpful to say simply: the few great Cubist works were painted between 1907 and 1914? And perhaps to qualify this by adding that a few more, by Juan Gris, were painted a little later? And anyway is it not nonsense to think of Cubism having not yet taken place when we are surrounded in daily life by the apparent effects of Cubism? All modern design, architecture and town planning seems inconceivable without the initial example of Cubism." John Berger
In this quietly revolutionary work of social observation and medical philosophy, John Berger and the photographer Jean Mohr train their gaze on an English country doctor and find a universal man –one who has taken it upon himself to recognize his patient's humanity when illness and the fear of death have made them unrecognizable to themselves. In the impoverished rural community in which he works, John Sassall tend the maimed, the dying, and the lonely. He is not only the dispenser of cures but the repository of memories. And as Berger and Mohr follow Sassall about his rounds, they produce a book whose careful detail broadens into a meditation on the value we assign a human life.
First published thirty years ago, A Fortunate Man remains moving and deeply relevant –no other book has offered such a close and passionate investigation of the roles doctors play in their society.
“In 1967 A Fortunate Man marked the most significant step forward in the collaboration of a writer and photographer since Let us Now Praise Famous Men by Walker Evans and James Agee. Incredibly, it still does … A masterpiece.” Geoff Dyer
“It’s one of my favourite books in the world, an ongoing inspiration as to how books should be written (and photography used).” Alain de Botton
“A genuine tour de force …The intimate portrait of one man and his microscopic world reveals the faults and strains of a whole society” Observer
“I only wish I could do justice in a few words to the richness that makes this book so compelling.” Guardian
“John Berger seems to me peerless; not since Lawrence has there been a writer who offers such attentiveness to the sensual world with responsiveness to the imperatives of conscience.” Susan Sontag
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
John Berger plantea una teoría sobre qué significa ser pintor. En ella reivindica la pintura como lenguaje ancestral que nos aproxima al significado de la existencia humana. El volumen incluye cinco textos cortos y dos poemas. Todos ellos son pinceladas precisas y exactas que cobran todo su sentido cuando se contemplan en conjunto.
'This is a book about painting and swimming and how touch and voice can make light. It is about the way thoughts can drift to Cambodia and Gaza while doing the lengths in a public pool in Paris; how a Sho paint brush can turn into a bird and how the act of painting and swimming is like starting life all over again. Dive into this essential, desirable conversation between John Berger and Leon Kossoff and you will feel ever invigorated.’ Deborah Levy (from the Introduction)
Swimming Pool brings together for the first time the words of John Berger and the drawings of his friend, the acclaimed artist Leon Kossoff.
Coincidentally born just a few miles apart in North East London in Autumn 1926, both men loved swimming pools and respectively wrote about, drew and painted them with a striking fluency and attention to the lived experience of the surroundings. They were fascinated by the playful activity and solitary purpose offered by the swimming pool, the communal nature of this much loved social asset and the wider sense of place these immersive public spaces represent.
John Berger’s texts were selected by Teresa Pintó from across the whole range of his writings. They are accompanied in the book by the drawings Leon Kossoff made over a long period of time at his local pool. The drawings, capturing the activity and noise of the swimming baths, were used back in the studio as the foundation for his series of large paintings on canvas, one of which, the Tate’s ‘Children’s Swimming Pool, Autumn Afternnoon’ (1971) is featured in the book. To further underline their long friendship a series of letters, exchanged between them in 1995-96, on the subject of drawing, forms an appendix.
‘Swimming Pool’ has a specially written introduction by Booker short-listed author (and passionate swimmer) Deborah Levy.
The postscript, an elegiac text full of images of water and memories, is by Yves Berger.
This book was generously supported by The Leon Kossoff Artistic Estate.
"A book of correspondence between two highly talented friends writer/critic/artist John Berger and filmmaker/artist John Christie, I Send You This Cadmium Red began in concept in February 1997, when Christie mused to Berger: 'What could our next project be?' Berger replied: 'Just send a color ' Soon after, a painted square of cadmium red crossed the English Channel, from Christie in London to Berger in France, and an amazing conversation began. The accompanying book reveals, in the form of letters, notes, small books, and drawings, their subsequent exchange of ideas on color an visual odyssey that ranges from Matisse's blue to the blue of Yves Klein; from industrial brown anti-rust paint to Joseph Beuys' Braunkreuz, from mysterious cave paintings to Byzantine gold leaf. Unprecedented and engaging, aesthetically stunning and intellectually enlightening, I Send You This Cadmium Red both explores new OEays of seeing' and provides a key to understanding the work of these two artists."
Anthology / Selection
John Berger's writings on photography are some of the most original of the twentieth century. This selection contains many groundbreaking essays and previously uncollected pieces written for exhibitions and catalogues in which Berger probes the work of photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and W. Eugene Smith - and the lives of those photographed - with fierce engagement, intensity and tenderness.
The selection is made and introduced by Geoff Dyer, author of the award-winning The Ongoing Moment.
How do we see the world around us? This is one of a number of pivotal works by creative thinkers whose writings on art, design and the media have changed our vision for ever.
Essays by John Berger, with illustrations by Miquel Barceló.
In About Looking John Berger explores our role as observers to reveal new layers of meaning in what we see. How do the animals we look at in zoos remind us of a relationship between man and beast all but lost in the twentieth century? What is it about looking at war photographs that doubles their already potent violence? How do the nudes of Rodin betray the threats to his authority and potency posed by clay and flesh? And how does solitude inform the art of Giacometti? In asking these and other questions, Berger quietly –but fundamentally– alters the vision of anyone who reads his work.
Este volumen recopila algunos de los artículos y ensayos más incisivos y brillantes de Berger durante la década de 1960. En ellos, aparecen personajes como Camille Corot o Fernand Léger, Le Corbusier, Walter Benjamin, Jack Yeats o Che Guevara, reflexiona en torno a la Primavera de Praga o aborda temas dispares bajo una mirada coherente, humanista y marxista, que rehúye el análisis fragmentario en favor de la síntesis.
Los espacios de trabajo del artista Yves Berger y de su padre John, en la pequeña localidad de Quincy, en la Alta Saboya, son el escenario donde transcurrió esta deliciosa conversación a tres bandas con el periodista literario Emmanuel Favre. Rodeados de fotografías, dibujos, lienzos y libros, reflexionan sobre el arte y su estrecha relación con la vida y la política. Afloran iluminadoras opiniones sobre literatura, poesía, fotografía, dibujo o el arraigo del cuerpo en el territorio frente a la globalización. Un diálogo cercano y esclarecedor para tiempos de cambio.
An elegy on the death of his wife Beverly by John Berger and by their son Yves Berger.
Este es un libro con muchas contenidos muy diversos. Por ejemplo, incluye el intercambio epistolar entre John Berger y Marilyne Desbiolles, poemas de Rainer Maria Rilke, Paul Celan o Marina Tsvietáieva, entre otros, fotografías, y hasta un diálogo entre John Berger y su hijo Yves.
With paintings by Christoph Hansli.
El volumen propone una miscelánea de pequeños ensayos, fotografías y otros detalles.
Bertold Brecht, Poems on the Theatre. Translated by John Berger and Anna Bostock Scorpion Press, 1961.
Aime Césaire: Return to My Native Land. Translated by John Berger and Anna Bostock Penguin, 1969.
- 1972 - Prize for the Best Television Director for the program Ways of Seeing.
- 1972 - Booker Fiction Prize and James Tait Black Memorial Prize, for the novel G.
- 1975- George Orwell Journalism Prize.
- 1976 - Premio de la Crítica de la Sociedad Nacional de Cinematografía for the best script, for the film Jonah who will be 25 in the year 2000, co-written with Alain Tanner.
- 1977 -Prize for the Best Reporting,by the Unión de Periodistas y escritores, for A Seventh Man.
- 1989- Premio Europa del Festival de Cine de Barcelona for Play Me Something, shared with Tim Neat.
- 1989 -Lannan Literary Award by the Lannan Foundation, United States.
- 1989 - Austrian State Prize for European Literature.
- 1991 - Petrarca-Preis Literary Award.
- 1996 - Prize for the best Radiofonic Play in Germany, for Will It Be a Likeness?
- 2002 - Lannan Foundation Lifetime Acheivement Award.
- 2004 - Premio Cardo de Oro for the best book about mountains, in Trent, for Once in Europe.
- 2004 - Fondazione Premio Napoli declared him a runner-up for The Shape of a Pocket.
- 2005 - Scott Moncrieff Prize for translation from French.
- 2005 - Premio Cálamo “Otra Mirada”, by Bartleby Editores of Zaragoza, for his work My Beautiful.
- 2007- Prix Rhône-Alpes for Literature.
- 2007 - Prize D. H. Lawrence for travel writing, by the Department of Culture and Heritage of the province of Cagliari (Sardinia), for Here is Where We Meet.
- 2009 - Golden PEN Award, British Pen Club.
- 2010 - Tribute and Award by Fundación de Amigos del Museo del Prado