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G von John Berger
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G (Original 1972; 1991. Auflage)

von John Berger

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
7741221,411 (3.51)75
Winner of the 1972 Booker Prize, this work centres on G, who seems impervious to everything around him. His interests are purely sexual, his crowning ideal, fulfilment. Yet in the end this is enough - for the politics of desire to expose the criminal politics of oppression.
Mitglied:BolstenDorder
Titel:G
Autoren:John Berger
Info:New York Vintage 1991
Sammlungen:515 Elm Avenue, Guardian List, Deine Bibliothek
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Werk-Details

G. : Roman ; [aus dem Englischen] von John Berger (1972)

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Style prétentieux servant une histoire qui m'a semblé totalement dénuée d'intérêt. L'histoire est décousue à souhait pour apporter la preuve que l'écriture est innovante, je suppose. Etait-on si à court de bonnes publications en 1972 pour décerner le Booker Prize à ce navet ?
Il est rare que j'abandonne un livre à presque la moitié mais il m'a paru soudain urgent de ne pas user une minute de plus de mon temps à une lecture aussi stérile. ( )
  biche1968 | May 15, 2021 |
While, on the surface, Berger’s prose seems simple enough, any discerning reader will find it hard not to feel as if there are hidden depths that require more explanation. Much of it, I felt, would remain beyond me no matter how much I read, such is the craft that he brings to his writing.

That’s not to say that this was a fantastic read. In places it zipped along, but there were times it dragged. Not that that is the mark of a good book anyway. But the narrative shifts surprisingly and in doing so you know that Berger has larger aims than simply to spin a story.

The story of the young man known as G. allows Berger to comment on our views of love, commitment, purpose in life, relationships and, in some quite bizarre ways, sex. He doesn’t handle each with equal deft, but when he gets it right, it’s a good read.

These are complex themes and the book deserves a second, more careful reading than I was able to give it as I both finished off a semester’s assignments on my MA and took on increasingly demanding pantomime rehearsals at the same time. ( )
  arukiyomi | Dec 27, 2020 |
Finally, a book that meets my personal requirements for a prizewinner! G., by John Berger, is original and thought-provoking. It weaves together the personal and political, seamlessly zooming in to sensual moments, then zooming out to international crises and national overviews. It is a meta-fictional tour de force, and I am keeping this one.

You see, I wasn’t planning on keeping all the Booker books that I took such pains to accumulate. For the first four, I marked passages with sticky notes, so that I could resell the books later. But I gave up on sticky notes on page 74 of G.

G. is the unnamed protagonist, a boy who grows up in limbo as the child of an affair, not knowing his father, rarely seeing his mother. This state, Berger argues, is what primes him for falling in love precociously and repeatedly. He becomes a sort of Don Juan; his first sexual experience is with his mother’s female cousin who raised him. (This is not her first incest: she lives like a wife with her male cousin, G.’s sole paternal figure until he is reunited with his absentee father.)

I love the close-up scenes of a boy discovering his body and others’ bodies, pondering what is inside and what is outside. I am reminded of the sensuality of Anais Nin and Henry Miller, and David Foster Wallace’s “Backbone,” about a lonely boy who sets himself the goal of kissing every inch of his own flesh.

I love how the story oscillates in a series of luminous vignettes from concrete to abstract, with meta-fictional author’s asides that don’t seem contrived. Berger makes observations on the role of hunting in the evolution of British socio-economic class, then writes gorgeously about one evening’s hunt as lived by G. and his male cousin.

I may not agree with all his abstract generalizations, but I am fascinated with them. His view of women, for example: that we are always surveying ourselves, seeing ourselves through others’ eyes. I think Berger explains this better than certain French feminists I studied, though I am not convinced that all women feel this way, or that no men do.

The episodes of seduction become more and more political until they spiral tightly into one evening at a ball in Trieste, with not one but two women, just days before World War I is declared. I did not feel the need to look up as much historical information as I did in the previous Booker prize winners about politics and colonization, and yet I did not feel lectured to, either.

Like I said, G. is a keeper. I’ll be looking up other books by John Berger when this project is complete. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
A winding, intricate and deep painting of sexuality, gender and ownership. A brilliant, bizarre masterpiece that forgets what it is and when it exists often enough to be very memorable. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
Different to anything else I've read
By sally tarbox on 23 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
I didnt think I was going to enjoy this book at all. I wouldnt read it again, but the writing is incredibly accomplished and beautiful. From the first pages chronicling the relationship of G's parents in Italy, to his childhood on an English farm, his (numerous) love affairs, experiences in WW1 Trieste...
While G is something of a blank canvas, incidents of his life are 'built up' through layers of feelings and observations. Thus a sexually-charged outing with friends, one of whom he is intent on seducing, features precise descriptions of the trees, snippets of irrelevant conversation, the smell of the forest- little irrelevancies that together form a memory.
Although Berger's experimental style works pretty well, I do take issue with him incorporating sometimes quite long and obscure thoughts that detract from the 'storyline' such as it is. The description of G's first romantic encounter is punctuated by a lengthy consideration on 'why does writing about sexual experience reveal so strikingly what may be a general limitation of literature in relation to aspects of all experience?'
I also found felt that the inclusion of two dirty pictures lowered my respect for the author (could he not describe such things in words?!) ( )
  starbox | Jul 10, 2016 |
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Winner of the 1972 Booker Prize, this work centres on G, who seems impervious to everything around him. His interests are purely sexual, his crowning ideal, fulfilment. Yet in the end this is enough - for the politics of desire to expose the criminal politics of oppression.

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