Books: Wide Range the Sense of Sight

by John Berger Pantheon; 299 pages; $18.95

John Berger has what Henry James once called "a really grasping imagination." He not only sees more than most people do but seizes what he sees, twisting and probing until it yields up its meaning. Berger, who was born and educated in Britain, was originally a painter. He became an art critic for the New Statesman, then turned to the full-time writing of poetry, novels (G.), social criticism (Art and Revolution), films (La Salamandre), TV documentaries (Ways of Seeing). An unorthodox Marxist, he now lives in a village in the French Alps (about which he wrote Pig Earth), but he roams...

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