A pictoral essay by the great art critic, novelist and long-time smoker, John Berger, and Turkish writer and illustrator SelÃ§uk Demirel.
“Once upon a time, men, women and (secretly) children smoked.”
This charming illustrated work reflects on the cultural implications of smoking, and suggests, through a series of brilliantly inventive illustrations, that society’s attitude to smoke is both paradoxical and intolerant. It portrays a world in which smokers, banished from public places, must encounter one another as outlaws. Meanwhile, car exhausts and factory chimneys continue to pollute the atmosphere.Â SmokeÂ is a beautifully illustrated prose poem that lingers in the mind.
“A cigarette is a breathing space. It makes a parenthesis. The time of a cigarette is a parenthesis, and if it is shared you are both in that parenthesis. It’s like a proscenium arch for a dialogue.” – John Berger (in interview)