Another Way of Telling

ISBN: 0679737243
ISBN 13: 9780679737247
By: John Berger Jean Mohr

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About this book

"There are no photographs which can be denied. All photographs have the status of fact. What is to be examined is in what way photography can and cannot give meaning to facts." With these words, two of our most thoughtful and eloquent interrogators of the visual offer a singular meditation on the ambiguities of what is seemingly our straightforward art form.   As constructed by John Berger and the renowned Swiss photographer Jean Mohr, that theory includes images as well as words; not only analysis, but anecdote and memoir. Another Way of Telling explores the tension between the photographer and the photographed, between the picture and its viewers, between the filmed moment and the memories that it so resembles. Combining the moral vision of the critic and the pratical engagement of the photgrapher, Berger and Mohr have produced a work that expands the frontiers of criticism first charged by Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag. 

Reader's Thoughts

Gary McDowell

Rensch recommends. Library?

Cynthia Davidson

Picked this up from time to time as it stayed on my nightside table till I'd finished it. Visual culture is a minefield & it is instructive to have someone coaching you on your own process of seeing...


l'amore, si sa, spesso è irrazionale. e io di questo libro mi sono follemente innamorata solo guardando la copertina (quello che c'è dentro- non è da meno)

Jane French

Left me breathlessly wanting more poetry to read. Wanting to look around and see everything anew.


You are home. Language is home. Where is home? Who are you? which language? No wonder the displacement. No wonder feeling lost. Loved some passages. loved the pain of reading them. loved the pain of leaving them...


A gorgeous and very unique work; it moves from personal and introspective prose to lyrical free verse to academic prose without seeming fragmented. The discussion of Caravaggio totally changed the way I see "Boy Being Bitten by a Lizard". Recommended to me by Mylinh. Thanks :-)

David Schaafsma

A first read of a great book that I think on subsequent readings will get even more important for me. A letter to a lover, a meditation in the way of Spinoza or other non-Rationalist philosophers, on art, love, language, poetry, photography, politics, art.... with sections on favorite artists like Carvaggio, and interspersed through it are poems, pretty wonderful poems. I'll keep this one by my bedside and add to this review as I read and reread and reflect. Much of what i appreciate about the book is its multi-genre approach, to weave philosophical reflections with stories with poetry. Why not?


He lies with his head between her legs. How many millions of men have lain like this? How many women, placing a hand on their heads, and smiling reflectively, have thought of birth? Everything here is re-enactment, everything here is return. Home is the return to where distance did not yet count.


There is someone who recommended this book to me, who I sometimes feel stands from me across an unbridgeable gulf of love and loss. Reading this book, I imagined us reading it facing each other from opposite sides of the world. This book was pretty beautiful and certainly thought-stirring, and it also made me feel very alone.


Ho davvero stima di Berger ma ho trovato questo volume troppo frammentario e pretenzioso. Ho pensato che forse bisogna essere innamorati o perlomeno non completamente disillusi per apprezzarlo in pieno, riproverò in tempi migliori.


ImmaginiQuesto libro, dono di una carissima amica, mi segue... anzi mi sta accanto, da diversi mesi ormai. E' lì appoggiato per terra vicino al letto ed ogni tanto la sera, tra un romanzo e l'altro o comunque quando ne sento la voglia, lo riprendo in mano e leggo o rileggo qualcosa. Ci sono brani o meglio, "immagini" che ho letto e riletto più volte e che rileggerò ancora, perché mi affascinano e mi commuovono e non saprei neanche dire perchè: un gattino completamente bianco, la foto di cinque operai turchi, un dipinto di Rembrandt... due corpi che fondendosi in un abbraccio definitivo si decompongono.

Milton Brasher-Cunningham

John Berger writes in a way that fills my lungs, my heart, my head. I feel as though he has placed every word on every page in the same way a mosaic artist sets each piece of tile in place. He writes with both mind and heart. I love this book.

Mark Sperry

Lovely, insightful, comforting.


A gorgeous little book that manages to seamlessly blend the emotional and the intellectual, shifting from poetry to narrative to essay. I can't help but think Berger was writing in the style of a blog long before the form existed.


What I can say will not do this justice, especially as it's been a couple months, but I loved every brilliant fragment. I'm especially fond of the poem on page 50 or so.

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