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Another Way of Telling Paperback – March 7, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (March 7, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679737243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679737247
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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 most 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 practical engagement of the photographer, Berger and Mohr have produced a work that expands the frontiers of criticism first charged by Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag.

"One of the world's most influential art, critics ... Berger sees clearly with fresh surprise yet profound understanding." -- Washington Times

From the Back Cover

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 most 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 practical engagement of the photographer, Berger and Mohr have produced a work that expands the frontiers of criticism first charged by Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag.

"One of the world's most influential art, critics ... Berger sees clearly with fresh surprise yet profound understanding." -- Washington Times

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Alex Lint on February 26, 2015
Format: Paperback
What does it mean to exploit someone else as an artist or a photographer?

The book, Another Way of Telling, opens with a couple of instances of the photographer taking pictures of third parties. In the first, a French farmer teases him for taking his picture, and the photographer ignores the objection. In the second instance, the photographer takes photos of a blind Indian girl while she reacts to his imitating animal noises.

While I find the latter anecdote cute, I wonder whether it was proper. Playing the game with the girl sounds fine, but when the author starts taking pictures of her without her knowledge, I begin to wonder whether he’s crossed the line into exploitation. The kid thinks she’s playing a game with a stranger; instead, he’s watching her and using her as a photographer’s model. At what point did his half of the interaction cease being a cute game and cross over into a calculated strategy to elicit photogenic poses from the unsuspecting girl? Did he think of the girl as an individual, or as a photogenic, suitably ethnic, dark skinned Third World subject of his photographic livelihood?

Let’s be honest, shall we? The photos wouldn’t be as interesting if the photographer did not go out of his way to give us the context: specifically that the kid is from the Third World, that she is blind, that she doesn’t know she’s being photographed, that she is vulnerable and that we can see her secret pleasures. Isn’t part of the reason that we enjoy these pictures, and, indeed, part of the reason why the photographer troubled to include the explanation of the circumstances, that we enjoy the prurient aspect of the girl being viewed without (yet simultaneously with) her own knowledge and acquiescence?
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Format: Paperback
Very interesting explanation on the nature of our understanding of a photo (by Berger) and colourful photo stories (by Mohr). Mohr's essay on taking photos and then being the other side where the life is actually experienced was quite memorable (now with wearable digital cameras such as Autographer, it is kind of possible to be on both sides at the same time). Berger's account on how a time-frozen photo, without its connecting time sequences, can be read by looking at the supplied contents in that static frame is very sharp and well-explained. Overall light-weight reading but so intriguing content - highly recommendable.
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By s.p on April 12, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book while living in a shelter. I find Berger's writing to be excellent; he helped me realize that my eyes are the guide to my soul
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Chang on July 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Truly the perfect book about photography and narrative. Both Berger and Mohr are natural collaborators and must must must work together again.
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More About the Author

John Berger was born in London in 1926. He is well known for his novels and 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, and 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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