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Lilac and Flag

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  113 ratings  ·  8 reviews

As Dickens and Balzac did for their time, so John Berger does for ours, rendering the movement of a people and the passing of a way of life in his masterwork, theInto Their Labourstrilogy. With Lilac and Flag, the Alpine village of the two earlier volumes has been forsaken for the mythic city of Troy. Here, amidst the shantytowns, factories, and opulent hotels, fading heri

Paperback, 188 pages
Published October 27th 1992 by Vintage (first published 1990)
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The heart of Berger's amazing life and literary project. Berger, a Booker Prize-winner and well-known left-wing art critic, left London in 1975 and made a new home in a peasant community in rural France, allowing his writing style to change (I would say develop) based on what he learned there. He wanted to know what the world was losing, or at least what Europe, that part of Europe was losing, in the processes of globalization and urbanization, the separating of the lower classes from a relation ...more
I didn't like this book, the last in the series "Into their Labors."

There is the contrivance of the mythical city of Troy which felt forced, as did the sort of meta-story effect told by the old woman. There is still a lot of beauty and detail, but the first two books seem like a case of writing what you know and finding the myth within, and this book feels like a myth imposed. I'm disappointed to finish the series this way, but you can't win them all.

I should also confess a prejudice about char
Per una frazione di secondo, prima di urlare, lui parve smarrito, completamente perso. E in quel momento lei lo amò come non lo aveva mai amato.
Zsuzsa/Lillà e Sucus/Bandiera vivono a Troia, si incontrano e si innamorano.
Berger inventa nomi meravigliosi per i suoi personaggi e per i suoi luoghi - sono posti che assomigliano a tutto il mondo e non appartengono a nessuna terra.
Mito, epos, amore, di questo sono piene le pagine di questo raro romanzo.
Che meraviglia!


This was a completion of a beautiful trilogy of life in France. Lilac and Flag parallels Helen of Troy-greek stories, it was about love, it was a fable, a legend. In some of my reading I like to explore the boundaries of human nature, yet I have come to realize there really are no boundaries. France, a beautiful and amazing country entered into my fiction reading and carried on to make next choice after this which was Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
Read this in 2003 and reading it again now.
Finished reading 'Lilac and Flag' first published in 1992 - I think it was a kind of prototype for John Berger's later 'King : A Street Story' in 1999 - a fantastic tale from a disintegrating Europe told by a dog called 'King', a companion of the homeless
Alex Fallis
I think this is Berger's best- and that is saying something, as I think he is ones of the truly great writers. Deeply moving, and stays with you forever.
I LOVED this book. A simple story and tenderly written. I really believed the two main characters. Read in one sitting!
this is the begining and/or the end of john berger.
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John Peter Berger is 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.
More about John Berger...
Ways of Seeing About Looking G. To the Wedding And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos

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