Selected Essays

Front Cover
Bloomsbury, 2001 - Art - 588 pages
8 Reviews
Booker wining novelist, playwright, essayist, poet and critic - even admirers rarely know John Berger in all his literary incarnations. This collection of essays will, for the first time, take a definitive look at his extraordinary career.

Far from being footnotes to the main body of work Berger's essays are absolutely central to it. Many of the ideas of the groundbreaking Ways of Seeing were presented first in essays published in New Society. Polemical, reflective, radically original, Berger's wide-ranging essays emphasise the continuities that have underpinned more than 40 years of tireless intellectual inquiry and political engagement. Viewed chronologically they add up, in fact, to a kind of vicarious autobiography and a history of our time as refracted through the prism of art.

Edited by Geoff Dyer, and published on the occasion of his 75th birthday, this is an essential collection by one of the world's greatest writers.

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Review: Selected Essays

User Review  - Jee Koh - Goodreads

It is astonishing to me how consistent John Berger was in over 30 years of art criticism. His judgment of an artist could become more developed and refined, more elaborated, but the underlying sense ... Read full review

Review: Selected Essays

User Review  - RL Swihart - Goodreads

Kept my attention. Lots of interesting topics. Read full review

About the author (2001)

John Berger was born in London in 1926. Berger was educated at St Edward's School, an independent school for boys in Oxford. Berger served in the British Army from 1944 to 1946; he then enrolled in the Chelsea School of Art and the Central School of Art in London. Berger began his career as a painter and exhibited work at a number of London galleries in the late 1940s. Berger became an art critic, publishing many essays and reviews in the New Statesman from 1948 - 1955. He titled an early collection of essays Permanent Red, in part as a statement of political commitment. In 1958 Berger published his first novel, A Painter of Our Time, which tells the story of the disappearance of Janos Lavin, a fictional exiled Hungarian painter, and his diary's discovery by an art critic friend called John. His novel G. won both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Booker Prize in 1972. In the 1970s Berger collaborated with the Swiss director Alain Tanner on several films; he wrote or co-wrote La Salamandre (1971), The Middle of the World (1974) and Jonah who will be 25 in the year 2000 (1976). He is well known for his novels & stories as well as for his works of nonfiction, including several volumes of art criticism. His works include Hold Everything Dear, From A to X, Why Look at Animals?, Cataract (with Selšuk Demirel) and Bento's Sketchbook.

Geoff Dyer was born in Cheltenham in 1958. He currently lives in London.

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