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And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
by John Berger
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"Those who read or listen to our stories see everything as through a lens. This lens is the secret of narration, and it is ground anew in every story, ground between the temporal and the timeless . . . . In our brief mortal lives, we are grinders of these lenses." This brooding, provocative, and almost unbearably lovely book displays one of the great writers of our time at his freest and most direct, addressing the themes that run beneath the surface of all his work, from Ways of Seeing to his Into Their Labours trilogy. In an extraordinary distillation of his gifts as a novelist, poet, art critic, and social historian, John Berger reveals the ties between love and absence, the ways poetry endows language with the assurance of prayer, and the tensions between the forward movement of sexuality and the steady backward tug of time. He re-creates the mysterious forces at work in a Rembrandt painting, transcribes the sensorial experience of viewing lilacs at dusk, and explores the meaning of home to early man and to the hundreds of thousands of displaced people in our cities today. A work of unclassifiable innovation and consummate beauty, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos reminds us of Nabokov and Auden, Brecht and Lawrence, in its seamless fusion of the political and the personal.