A Painter of Our Time Paperback – 27 Aug 1992
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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... He is a wonderful artist and thinker. --Susan Sontag
One day I discovered another hero, John Berger. I sat and read his first novel, A Painter of Our Time. It simply took my breath away: all the oxygen was gone from the air. It was the first of my new way of seeing. --Colum McCann, Guardian
Dramatizes one of the cardinal dilemmas of our age. --New York Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
John Berger was born in London and now lives in a small village in the French Alps. Most recently he has written the novels "To the Wedding "and "King."
Patricia Macdonald studied at Edinburgh University, receiving her doctorate in 1973. She is well known for her innovative, award-winning aerial images. Her previous publications include "Shadow of Heaven, Order & Chaos, "and "Views of Gala. "
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The reality to living as an artist is rather more prosaic than what the writers tell us. The issues an artist faces to produce artwork are far less emotional than what the layman would believe.
Here, for the first -- and as far as I know -- the only time, is a novel which accurately reflects the lifestyle and technical considerations of the typical working artist: a highly skilled professional without a "name". This book says it all.
And it says it with great finesse. Beyond its veracity to the profession, Painter of Our Time is both a well written story and compelling character study of an aging man in a less than perfect marriage.
The one exotic aspect to the story's main character, is that he is a politically committed hungarian refugee living in post-war London. Written in the form of a journal, the artist is haunted by the memory of a dead friend, as he struggles with low income and an indifferent wife.
Some readers may have a problem with the book's heavy emphasis on old school communist doctrine (as I did), but if you can get past this, you will find this a thoroughly absorbing, thoroughly accurate work about what it means to be an artist.
Besides the observations on painting, A Painter of Our Time interests as a character study, in its examination of the relationship of each of us to his past, and the question of how well we know each other. A small, quiet gem, it rings true throughout - especially as a first novel. I wouldn't say I couldn't put it down, but I didn't want to.