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Pig Earth af John Berger

Pig Earth (original 1979; udgave 1992)

af John Berger

Serier: Into Their Labours (book 1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
353654,654 (3.96)14
Set in a small village in the French Alps, this book relates the stories of sceptical, hard-working men and fiercely independent women.
Titel:Pig Earth
Forfattere:John Berger
Info:Vintage (1992), Edition: Reissue, Paperback
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

Detaljer om værket

Pig Earth af John Berger (1979)

Nyligt tilføjet aftrotta, Heinz_Huster, johnnic, pmichaud, Doctorv, and_3k, djannarone, coquitos, MARizzo72
Efterladte bibliotekerGillian Rose
  1. 00
    Homestead af Rosina Lippi (gust)
  2. 00
    An Island in Time: The Biography of a Village af Geert Mak (thorold)
    thorold: Geert Mak's thoughtful analysis of a Friesian farming village was influenced, among others, by John Berger's classic dissection of a small farming community in the French Alps.

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» Se også 14 omtaler

Engelsk (5)  Spansk (1)  Alle sprog (6)
Viser 1-5 af 6 (næste | vis alle)
Here is what Berger writes about, with overwhelming beauty and compassion: Lives of hard labor, lived with the passing of the seasons. The closeness of mortality. The way farm animals co-existed with their owners in harsh times and were so well known to their owners. The way these animals were slaughtered when the time came. The preoccupations of hard physical labor, work that never ends and that has no week-end or leisure time of any kind. The need to be working literally all the time. The brutality of living solely with the labor of one's hands and one's back. The ease with which an accident can happen when you life is one of hard labor: an accident that changes lives, or ends them. The way a human mind can see beauty in small ordinary things. The realization, as I read, that the lives of my great-grandparents were much like the hard-labor, desperate, and yet entirely meaningful lives of the people described here by Berger. ( )
  poingu | Feb 22, 2020 |
Hey, I've got an idea! Why don't I write a trilogy of books about the French peasantry in the post-war period. And I'll combine vignettes, novellae, poems and short stories. And I'll do it all using the tricks of modernist literary prose. Oh, and I'll add an indignant, didactic essay at the start. Sounds... well, it sounds like a godawful idea, but somehow Berger makes it work, and work pretty well. He writes beautifully; he doesn't romanticize the way of life he's trying to describe, but nor does he vilify it; he mixes in humor pretty well; his characters aren't unduly literary. On the down-side, the dialogue is super-stilted. It actually reads like French dialogue translated into English, which is charmless but also, in a weird way, makes it feel more authentic: these are real French peasants who've been translated into English! Anyway, I read this after reading somewhere that it's comparable to McCarthy's Border Trilogy. The first book of this one's better than the first book of that one in a few ways, less impressive in a few others. But I certainly want to read the next two. A solid 3.5 stars, but I'm trying to be sparing with my stars. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
I ached to have my arms in pig gore and my mind warped with gnole; truly epic writing transports all to an utterly lost world (from a suburban UK perspective anyway.) ( )
  markalanlaidlaw | Apr 10, 2012 |
Selección de relatos y poesías relacionados con el mundo rural ( )
  juan1961 | Jul 2, 2010 |
"Pig Earth" is the first novel of Berger's trilogy, "Into Their Labours" (made up of the novels Pig Earth, Once in Europa, & Lilac and Flag). It is set in a small French village on the impossibly steep slopes of the alpine Haute Savoie region where I lived for five years. Not that living somewhere for so brief a period makes me an authority but, for me, every sentence rang with authenticity. The attitudes, the world-view, the Weltanschauung of Savoyards are beautifully rendered. Berger has been accused of romanticizing the lives of peasants, but I think such critics are mistaken. While Berger's writing style is lyric, indeed, poetic (a number of poems are in fact scattered through the prose), the lives he describes, albeit in lush, sensuous prose, are harsh, exhausting, dirty, sometimes violent, filled with excrement and the scent of butchering, and frequently filled with regret and longing. (Reading these splendidly-written vignettes I cannot help but realize how ill-prepared I would be for such a life.)

Of particular poignancy are the pieces describing the lives (sic) of Lucie Cabrol, known as the Cocadrille. Consider this excerpt:

"Again she said my name as she had said it forty years before and again it separated me, marked me out from all other men. In the mountains the past is never behind, it's always to the side. You come down from the forest at dusk and a dog is barking in a hamlet. A century ago in the same spot at the same time of day, a dog, when it heard a man coming down through the forest, was barking, and the interval between the two occasions is no more than a pause in the barking."

The reader should not skip the somewhat academic introduction, for it is here that Berger outlines his motivations for writing the book and his philosophy towards what he terms "peasant life." Although he does not gloss over its hardships, he does hold that such a life offers independence, autonomy, perspective, community, and pride in one's store of inherited knowledge. He does believe that the disappearance of this way of life, which he suggests is inevitable, will be a great loss to us all.

Such incites are scatted throughout the stories as well, for example:

"At home, in the village, it is you who do everything, and the way you do it gives you a certain authority. There are accidents and many things are beyond your control, but it is you who have to deal with the consequences even of these. When you arrive in the city, where so much is happening and so much is being done and shifted, you realize with astonishment that nothing is in your control. It is like being a bee against a window pane. You see the events, the colours, the lights, yet something, which you can't see, separates you. With the peasant it is the forced suspension of his habit of handling and doing. That's why his hands dangle out of his cuffs so stupidly."

This slim volume is well worth the effort, and if Berger has erred in any way, it is perhaps in his desperation to make us experience what he has experienced as he lives and farms on this land himself. It is reminiscent, in this way, of Agee's "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men." ( )
  Laurenbdavis | Jul 14, 2009 |
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Alternative titler
Oprindelig udgivelsesdato
Vigtige steder
Vigtige begivenheder
Beslægtede film
Priser og hædersbevisninger
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"Others have laboured and ye are entered into their labours."
St. John 4-38
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This book is dedicated to five friends who have taught us:

Theophile Jorat

Angeline Coudurier

Andre Coudurier

Theophile Gay

Marie Raymond

to the friends who have helped us learn:

Raymond Berthier, Luc and Marie-

Therese Bertrand, Gervais and Melina

Besson, Jean-Paul Besson, Dennis Besson,

Michel Besson, Gerard Besson, Christian

Besson, Marius Chavanne, Roger and

Noelle Coudurier, Michel Coudurier, La

Doxie, Regis Duret, Gaston Forrestier,

Marguerite Gay, Noelle and Helene Gay,

Marcelle Gay, Jeanne Jorat, Armand

Jorat, Daniel and Yvette Jorat, Norbert

Jorat, Maurice and Claire Jorat, Francois

and Germaine Malgrand, Marcel Nicoud, Andre

Perret, Yves and Babette Peter,

Jean-Marie and Josephine Pittet, Roger

and Rolande Pittet, Bernadette Pittet,

Francois Ramel, Francois and Leonie

Raymond, Basiil Raymond, Guy and

Anne-Marie Roux, Le Violon, Walter

and to Beverly with whom I learn.
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Over the cow's brow the son places a black leather mask and ties it to the horns.
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Set in a small village in the French Alps, this book relates the stories of sceptical, hard-working men and fiercely independent women.

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