Cataract
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Cataract

Some Notes After Having a Cataract Removed

List Price: $22.00

December 11, 2012 | Hardcover | 4.8 x 7.6, 80 Pages | ISBN 9781619020634

"Art critic and novelist Berger provides another way to think about one of the mundane discomforts of aging—cataract surgery—in this charming, short meditation on the benefits of illumination."  —Library Journal

“Behind my right eye hangs a burlap cloth; behind my left eye there’s a mirror. . . Before the burlap the visible remains indifferent; before the mirror it begins to play.”

What happens when an art critic loses some of his sight to cataracts? What wonders are glimpsed once vision is restored? In this impressionistic essay written in the spirit of Montaigne, John Berger, whose treatises on seeing have shaped cultural and media studies for four decades, records the effects of cataract removal operations on each of his eyes. The result is an illuminated take on perception. Berger ponders how we can become accustomed to a loss of sense until a dulled world becomes the norm, and describes the sudden richness of reawakened sight with acute attention to sensory detail. This wise little book beckons us to pay close attention to our own senses and wonder at their significance as we follow Berger’s journey into a more vivid, differentiated way of seeing. Demirel’s witty illustrations complement the text, creating a mini-world where eyes take on whimsical lives of their own. The result is a collaborative collectors’ piece perfect for every reader’s bedside table.

With drawings by the Turkish artist Selçuk Demirel.

Praise

“Four decades after teaching a generation to fine-tune the optic nerve in Ways of Seeing (1972), John Berger underwent (successful) binocular cataract surgery. Fortunately he has recorded his reunion with the joys and sheer physicality of observation in the monograph Cataract, illustrated with scintillating wit by Selçuk Demirel.” —Aesop Online

“Art critic and novelist Berger provides another way to think about one of the mundane discomforts of aging—cataract surgery—in this charming, short meditation on the benefits of illumination (as provided by surgeons). He compares, whimsically, the dimming of his vision with his clarified post-op perceptions of light, color, tone, and scale, but illustrator Demirel’s evocative line drawings complement the brief text perfectly and elucidate Berger’s points in ways words cannot.” —Library Journal

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