Ways of Seeing

Ways of Seeing : Based on the BBC Television Series

3.9 (315,722 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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"Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.""But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but word can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled."John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the "London Sunday Times" critic commented: "This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings ...he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures." By now he has.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 14mm | 363g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • w. numerous ill.
  • 0140135154
  • 9780140135152
  • 41,145

Review quote

"It's a book about art history and the media, but it's also a magic trick." -- The New Republic

"Berger fulfils the roles of a philosopher, listener, and somewhat of a magician as he makes tantalising worlds appear, and illusions vanish." -- Pratibha Rai, Oxford Culture Review

"The influence of the series and the book . . . was enormous . . . It opened up for general attention to areas of cultural study that are now commonplace." -Geoff Dyer

"...perhaps the most bold, clear, and widely renowned explanation of art's entanglement with capitalism." -- The Paris Review

"Berger has the ability to cut right through the mystification of the professional art critics . . . He is a liberator of images: and once we have allowed the paintings to work on us directly, we are in a much better position to make a meaningful evaluation." -Peter Fuller, Arts Review

"Over the past sixty years, the great John Berger - art critic, essayist, screenwriter, novelist, poet, and artist - has made immeasurable contributions to our understanding of culture and politics, never more potently than in Ways of Seeing." -The Village Voice

On John Berger:

"In contemporary English letters he seems to me peerless." -- Susan Sontag

"We learned from him to see that basic assumptions about everything-work, play, art, commerce-are hidden in the surrounding culture of images." -- Jane Gaines
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About John Berger

John Berger was born in London in 1926. He is well known for his novels & stories as well as for his works of nonfiction, including several volumes of art criticism. His first novel, "A Painter of Our Time", was published in 1958, & since then his books have included the novel "G.", which won the Booker Prize in 1972. In 1962 he left Britain permanently, and he lives in a small village in the French Alps.
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Rating details

315,722 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 43% (135,843)
4 26% (80,794)
3 17% (55,088)
2 7% (20,957)
1 7% (23,040)
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