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Encyclopedia > John Berger

John Peter Berger (born November 5, 1926) is an art critic, novelist, painter, and author. The best-known among his many works include the novel G., winner of the 1972 Booker Prize, and the introductory essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a significant BBC series of the same name, and often used as a college text. November 5 is the 309th day of the year (310th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 56 days remaining. ... 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... An art critic is normally a person who have a speciality in giving reviews mainly of the types of fine art you will find on display. Typically the art critic will go to an art exhibition where works of art are displayed in the traditional way in localities especially made... A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ... Painting by Rembrandt self-portrait Detail from Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez, in which the painter portrayed himself at work For the computer graphics program, see Corel Painter. ... G. is a 1972 novel by John Berger. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known as the Man Booker Prize, or simply the Man Booker, is one of the worlds most important literary prizes, and awarded each year for the best original novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland in... Ways of Seeing is an influential book by John Berger, consisting of several essays about art, feminism and publicity. ...

Contents

Biography

Born in London, England, Berger attended St Edward's School in Oxford. "His father, S.J.D. Berger, O.B.E., M.C., had been an infantry officer on the western front during the First World War."[1] 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."[2] "His art has been exhibited at the Wildenstein, Redfern and Leicester galleries in London. Berger has continued to paint throughout his career."[3] London (pronounced ) is the capital city of the United Kingdom and the largest city of England (strangely, England has no constitutional existence within the United Kingdom, and therefore cannot be said to have a capital). ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2005 est. ... St Edwards School is a co-educational, independent school in north Oxford, England. ... Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England, with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). ... London (pronounced ) is the capital city of the United Kingdom and the largest city of England (strangely, England has no constitutional existence within the United Kingdom, and therefore cannot be said to have a capital). ...


While teaching drawing (from 1948 to 1955), Berger became an art critic, publishing many essays and reviews in the New Statesman. His Marxist humanism and his strongly stated opinions on modern art made him a controversial figure from early in his career. He titled an early collection of essays Permanent Red, in part as a statement of political commitment, and later wrote that before the USSR achieved nuclear parity he had felt constrained not to criticize its policies; afterwards his attitude toward the Soviet state became considerably more critical. The New Statesman is a left-of-centre political weekly published in London. ... The term Marxist humanism has as its foundation Marxs conception of the alienation of the labourer as he advances it in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844--an alienation that is born of a capitalist system in which the worker no longer functions as (what Marx terms) a... Modern art is a general term used for most of the artistic production from the late 19th century until approximately the 1970s. ...


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. The book's political currency and detailed description of an artist's working process led to some readers mistaking it for a true story. After being available for a month, the work was withdrawn by the publisher, under pressure from the Congress for Cultural Freedom[1]. The novels immediately succeeding A Painter of Our Time were The Foot of Clive and Corker's Freedom; both presented an urban English life of alienation and melancholy. The International Association for Cultural Freedom (previously known as the Congress for Cultural Freedom) was an anti-communist political group best known for being revealed in 1967 as a covert operation of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. ...


In 1962 Berger's distaste for life in Britain drove him into a voluntary exile in France.


In 1972 the BBC broadcast his television series Ways of Seeing and published its companion text, an introduction to the study of images. The work, in part, was derived from Walter Benjamin's essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. The British Broadcasting Corporation, invariably known as the BBC (and also informally known as the Beeb or Auntie) is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world, employing 26,000 staff in the UK alone and with a budget of £4 billion. ... Walter Benjamin (July 15, 1892 – September 27, 1940) was a German Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher. ... The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is a 1935/1936 essay by German cultural critic Walter Benjamin, which has been influential in the fields of culture theory and media theory. ...


His novel G., a romantic picaresque set in the Europe of 1898, won the Booker Prize in 1972. When accepting the prize Berger made a point of donating half his cash award to the Black Panther Party in Britain, and retaining half to support his work on the study of migrant workers that became A Seventh Man, insisting on both as necessary parts of his political struggle. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known as the Man Booker Prize, or simply the Man Booker, is one of the worlds most important literary prizes, and awarded each year for the best original novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland in... The Black Panther Party (originally called the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) was an African American civil rights and self-defense organization, active within the United States in the late 1960s. ...


Many of his texts, from sociological studies to fiction and poetry, deal with experience.


Berger's sociological writings include A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor (1967) and A Seventh Man: Migrant Workers in Europe (1975). His research for A Seventh Man led to an interest in the world which migrant workers had left behind: isolated rural communities. It was his work on this theme that led him to settle in Quincy, a small village in the Haute-Savoie, where he has lived and farmed since the mid-1970s. Berger and photographer Jean Mohr, his frequent collaborator, seek to document and to understand intimately the lived experiences of their peasant subjects. Their subsequent book Another Way of Telling discusses and illustrates their documentary technique and treats the theory of photography both through Berger's essays and Mohr's photographs.


His studies of single artists include most prominently The Success and Failure of Picasso (1965), a survey of the modernist's career; and Art and Revolution: Ernst Neizvestny, Endurance, and the Role of the Artist, on the Soviet dissident sculptor's aesthetic and political contributions. A young Pablo Picasso Pablo Picasso, formally Pablo Ruiz Picasso, (October 25, 1881 - April 8, 1973) was one of the recognized masters of 20th century art. ... Khrushchevs tomb at the Novodevichy Cemetery was sculpted by Neizvestny. ...


In the 1970s Berger collaborated with the Swiss director Alain Tanner on several films; he wrote or co-wrote Salamandre, Jonah who will be 25 in the year 2000, and Messidor. Alain Tanner (born 6 December 1929 in Geneva) is a Swiss film director. ... Messidor was the tenth month in the French Republican Calendar. ...


His major fictional work of the 1980s, the trilogy Into Their Labours (made up of the novels Pig Earth, Once in Europa, and Lilac and Flag), treats the European peasant experience from its farming roots into contemporary economic and political displacement and urban poverty. Many of Berger's essays as well draw on his rural neighbors. The 1980s refers to the years of 1980 to 1989. ... Pig Earth is the first novel by John Berger in the Into Their Labours trilogy. ...


In recent essays Berger has written of photography, art, politics, and memory; he has published in The Shape of a Pocket a correspondence with Subcomandante Marcos, and written short stories appearing in venues like the Threepenny Review and The New Yorker. His sole volume of poetry is Pages of the Wound, though other volumes such as the dense theoretical essay And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos contain poetry as well as prose. Subcomandante Marcos in Chiapas Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos (allegedly born June 19, 1957 in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico), also known as Delegado Zero in matters concerning the Other Campaign, describes himself as the spokesperson for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) but, due to his prominence in the EZLN, he is... The New Yorker is an American magazine that publishes reportage, criticism, essays, cartoons, poetry and fiction. ...


Berger's recent novels include To the Wedding, a love story dealing with the AIDS crisis that stems from his own familial experience, and King: A Street Story, a novel on homeless and shantytown life told from the perspective of a street dog. Berger initially insisted that his name be kept off the cover and title page of King, wanting the novel to be received on its own merits. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a collection of symptoms and infections in humans resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). ...


His essays and criticism are available in many different volumes, including About Looking, Photocopies, The Shape of a Pocket, The Sense of Sight, and Keeping a Rendezvous. The 2001 Selected Essays contains selections from many of these; otherwise, their contents are distinct.


Berger has three children, Yves (his son by his second and current wife, Beverly), Katya (a writer) and Jacob Berger (a director). His first marriage was childless.


Sources

  1. ^ http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=380 Literary Encyclopedia, John Berger
  2. ^ http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=380 Literary Encyclopedia, John Berger
  3. ^ http://www.opendemocracy.net/author/John_Berger.jsp Profile of Berger at OpenDemocracy.net

Bibliography

  • A Painter of Our Time
  • Permanent Red
  • The Foot of Clive
  • Corker's Freedom
  • A Fortunate Man
  • Art and Revolution
  • The Moment of Cubism and Other Essays
  • The Look of Things: Selected Essays and Articles
  • Ways of Seeing
  • Another Way of Telling
  • A Seventh Man
  • The Success and Failure of Picasso
  • G.
  • About Looking
  • Into Their Labours (Pig Earth, Once in Europa, Lilac and Flag. A Trilogy)
  • And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
  • The White Bird (U.S. title: The Sense of Sight)
  • Keeping a Rendezvous
  • Pages of the Wound
  • Photocopies
  • To the Wedding
  • King
  • The Shape of a Pocket
  • Selected Essays (Geoff Dyer, ed.)
  • I Send You This Cadmium Red (with John Christie)
  • Titian: Nymph and Shepherd (with Katya Berger)
  • Here is Where We Meet

Ways of Seeing is an influential book by John Berger, consisting of several essays about art, feminism and publicity. ... G. is a 1972 novel by John Berger. ... Pig Earth is the first novel by John Berger in the Into Their Labours trilogy. ... Geoff Dyer (born June 5, 1958) is an author. ... Katya Berger (b. ...

References

  • Dyer, Geoff. Ways of Telling: The Work of John Berger. ISBN 0-7453-0097-9.
  • Dyer, Geoff (Ed.) John Berger, Selected Essays, Bloomsbury, ISBN 0-375-71318-2

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
John Berger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1014 words)
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 and photographer Jean Mohr, his frequent collaborator, seek to document and to understand intimately the lived experiences of their peasant subjects.
Berger's recent novels include To the Wedding, a love story dealing with the AIDS crisis that stems from his own familial experience, and King: A Street Story, a novel on homeless and shantytown life told from the perspective of a street dog.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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