I feel John Berger’s death (at age 90) very personally since he has accompanied me for most of my life….I vividly remember his (black and white) television documentary in the early 1970s - Ways of seeing - whose very title indeed continues to echo in my head and has influenced my writing inrecent years. The book can be read here in full…..
He was a writer who used words to craft sensitive stories about both artists and peasants (he lived in a village in the Haute Savoie from 1974) but was, for me, at his most powerful in two books he wrote with the Swiss photographer Jean Mohr –
- A Fortunate Man (1967) which followed the life and travails of an English country doctor and which can be read in its entirety here
- A Seventh Man (1975) which looked at the fate of immigrants in post-war Europe….
His writing, like the man we saw in later interviews, was extraordinarily thoughtful – not for him the slick phrases which pass for most interviews these days. Words were magic and needed to be weighed carefully….I was amazed to find, as I googled for the Berger resource I have put together below, a virtual conversation Noam Chomsky had with him in 2014
A John Berger resource
thesis on Berger https://lra.le.ac.uk/bitstream/2381/30264/1/U155538.pdf
the art of looking 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IeBcecwcQw
about time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USzGCdoLhjQ