This week's New Yorker cover

This week's New Yorker coverOn Hope & the photograph.  I just discovered Peter Schjeldahl talking about John Berger talking about Franz Hals in this week’s New Yorker as part of his review of the Met’s current Hals show. Schjeldahl and I wrote about different Berger essays on Hals, and I spared you Berger’s political theory in the essay I read (“The Hals Mystery”).  Schjeldahl thinks Berger’s political reading of Hals in the essay he read amounts to a projection that “belittles Hals as an individual.”  I could tell Schjeldahl enjoyed Berger’s ideas about Hals, and I enjoyed Berger’s way of addressing both Hals’s class-consciousness and his existentialism.  Maybe it’s all a projection, or maybe Hals wasn’t prophetic of only photography.

Speaking of which, Schjeldahl sounds like he would agree with Berger at least about Hals and photography:  “Hals showed them how candid technique could serve the direct registration of people and things as they really appear: art as an adept performance, in a streaming present tense.”

By Peter

After stints as a trial lawyer and a church worker, Peter Stephens has settled in as a Virginia high school English teacher. Peter has read several books and poems. He wrote none of the posts below filed under "Passages." Click the link at the end of each post to see it in the context of the author's original post.