John Berger writes: '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, Palaeolithic cave painters, a ...
John Berger writes: '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, Palaeolithic cave painters, a Romanian peasant, ancient Egyptians, an expert in the loneliness of certain hotel bedrooms, dogs at dusk, a man in a radio station. And unexpectedly, our exchanges strengthen each of us in our conviction that what is happening to 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.'
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-10-29 This volume collects more recent essays that first appeared in a variety of languages in publications in Zurich, Madrid, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Helsinki and London. Since very few readers, even Berger fanatics, will have the linguistic skills to have experienced these texts in their original translated versions, it is useful to have them collected and available here in English. The 24 essays include impressions of artists such as Rembrandt, Degas, Michelangelo, Kahlo and Brancusi. There are the familiar farmyard observations from Berger as the rural dweller in the French Alps. Others, like the one titled "The Chauvet Cave" after a French site of prehistoric art, seem diffuse and free-form rather than focusing on a single subject. On Rembrandt, Berger is in his element, as if speaking about someone he knew personally: "obstinate, dogmatic, cunning, capable of a kind of brutality. Do not let us turn him into a saint." Some of the essays integrate the author's now-shaky memory, as when he writes, "I have the impression, that just after Brancusi's death in 1957, I visited his studio...." And he manages to get off yet another shot against his pet peeve Francis Bacon, in whose art, according to Berger, "pain is watched through a screen, like soiled linen being watched through the round window of a washing machine." Such overstrenuous attacks on a demonstrably major painter are tedious, but most of the present book, integrating the author's own aging and physical decay, rings as true as the rest of his much-appreciated work. (Dec. 28) Forecast: This book is a sure thing for Berger's regular readers and for larger campus art collections. For an extra $8.50, though, casual readers may prefer to pick up the above Selected, revealing the writer in his fierce prime and providing more than twice as much material. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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