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Book Title: ONCE IN EUROPA|
The author of the book: John Berger
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.85 MB
Edition: Pantheon Books
Date of issue: October 27th 1992
ISBN 13: 9780394751641
Read full description of the books ONCE IN EUROPA:Once in Europa was first published by John Berger in 1987. Bloomsbury's reissue of this moving love story has been given a new and poignant twist with the addition of award-winning photographer Patricia Macdonald's remarkable colour images which punctuate Berger's lyrical tale of stoical romance in the midst of agrarian collapse and the depredations of heavy industry in Central Europe in the 1950s.
Odile lives with her ageing father as he fights to retain his smallholding amidst the encroachment of the local steel works. She recounts that "the first sounds I remember are the factory siren and the noise of the river", and her idyllic childhood is increasingly eroded and replaced by the environmental destruction which the factory visits upon both its surroundings and those who work there: "the furnaces throbbed, the river flowed, the smoke, sometimes white, sometimes grey, sometimes yellow, thrust upwards into the sky, men worked night and day for generations, sweating, retching, pissing, coughing". Odile's promising school career is cut short as she falls in love with the communist steelworker Stepan. His sudden death at the factory, and the company's indifference to the pregnant Odile leave her destitute, ultimately finding solace in another victim of the factory's malign practices, the crippled Michel.
The tragic impact of industrialisation upon a rural community is wonderfully judged by Berger, and there are passages of exquisite lyricism and stoicism as Odile attempts to eke out an existence for herself and her children. Macdonald's photographs beautifully complement the tone and atmosphere of Berger's text, especially her astonishing aerial photographs of urban and rural wildernesses. This is a sober snapshot of late 20th-century Europa. --Jerry Brotton
Read information about the authorJohn Peter Berger was an English art critic, novelist, painter and author. His novel G. won the 1972 Booker Prize, and his essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a BBC series, is often used as a college text.
Later he was self exiled to continental Europe, living between the french Alps in summer and the suburbs of Paris in winter. Since then, his production has increased considerably, including a variety of genres, from novel to social essay, or poetry. One of the most common themes that appears on his books is the dialectics established between modernity and memory and loss,
Another of his most remarkable works has been the trilogy titled Into Their Labours, that includes the books Pig Earth (1979), Once In Europa (1983) Lilac And Flag (1990). With those books, Berger makes a meditation about the way of the peasant, that changes one poverty for another in the city. This theme is also observed in his novel King, but there he focuses more in the rural diaspora and the bitter side of the urban way of life.
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