The seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza-generally known as Benedict (or Bento) de Spinoza-spent the most intense years of his short life writing. A keen draughtsman, he also carried with him a sketchbook. After his sudden death, his friends rescued letters, manuscripts, notes, but apparently didn't find a sketchbook. Or, if they did, it was subsequently lost. For years, John Berger has imagined Bento's sketchbook being found, not knowing what he hoped to find in it, but wanting to reread his words while being able to look at the things Bento had seen with his own eyes. When one day a friend gave John a blank sketchbook he began to draw: not like a seventeenth-century Dutch amateur, nor to try and illustrate Bento's thoughts, but drawing, in Spinoza's company, from life today, and telling stories and asking questions. A book of images and words, Bento's Sketchbook is an exploration of the practice of drawing, about where and to what it leads. It is, too, a beautiful, clear-sighted meditation on how we perceive, and seek to explain, our ever-changing relationship with the world around us.
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- Hardback | 176 pages
- 156 x 238 x 18mm | 498.95g
- 04 May 2011
- Verso Books
- London, United Kingdom
- 120 colour illustrations
I admire and love John Berger's books. He writes about what is important, not just interesting. In contemporary English letters, he 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. He is a wonderful artist and thinker.A" Susan Sontag
About John Berger
Storyteller, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, dramatist and critic, John Berger is one of the most internationally influential writers of the last fifty years. His many books include Ways of Seeing, the fiction trilogy Into Their Labours, Here Is Where We Meet, the Booker Prize-winning novel G, and, most recently, the Man Booker-longlisted From A to X. He lives in France.