John Berger, English Artist ( November 5, 1926 - )

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It can happen that a book, unlike its authors, grows younger as the years pass.~John Berger

Book Happen Grows

Autobiography begins with a sense of being alone. It is an orphan form.~John Berger

Alone Being Alone Orphan

That we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful means that we are less alone, that we are more deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would lead us to believe.~John Berger

Life Beautiful Alone

Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does.~John Berger

Painting Drawing Imitation

The point about hope is that it is something that occurs in very dark moments. It is like a flame in the darkness; it isn't like a confidence and a promise.~John Berger

Hope Confidence Darkness

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

Time Space You

A boycott is directed against a policy and the institutions which support that policy either actively or tacitly. Its aim is not to reject, but to bring about change.~John Berger

Change Support Aim

Being a unique superpower undermines the military intelligence of strategy. To think strategically, one has to imagine oneself in the enemy's place. If one cannot do this, it is impossible to foresee, to take by surprise, to outflank. Misinterpreting an enemy can lead to defeat. This is how empires fall.~John Berger

Intelligence Unique Enemy

You can plan events, but if they go according to your plan they are not events.~John Berger

Plan You Events

Compassion has no place in the natural order of the world which operates on the basis of necessity. Compassion opposes this order and is therefore best thought of as being in some way supernatural.~John Berger

Best Compassion World

I wanted to write about looking at the world, so it's more about helping people, or persuading people, to see what is around us; both the marvellous and the terrible.~John Berger

World People Looking

Without ethics, man has no future. This is to say, mankind without them cannot be itself. Ethics determine choices and actions and suggest difficult priorities.~John Berger

Future Man Ethics

Art is the provocation for talking about enigma and the search for sense in human life. One can do that by telling a story or writing about a fresco by Giotto or studying how a snail climbs up a wall.~John Berger

Life Art Writing

Never chain your dogs together with sausages. One must accustom one's self to be bored.~John Berger

Together Self Chain

When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story's voice makes everything its own.~John Berger

Book Voice Story

The camera relieves us of the burden of memory. It surveys us like God, and it surveys for us. Yet no other god has been so cynical, for the camera records in order to forget.~John Berger

God Memory Camera

A peasant becomes fond of his pig and is glad to salt away its pork. What is significant, and is so difficult for the urban stranger to understand, is that the two statements are connected by an and not by a but.~John Berger

Difficult Salt Away

One can say of language that it is potentially the only human home, the only dwelling place that cannot be hostile to man.~John Berger

Home Man Language

Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress.~John Berger

Dress Naked Never

The past grows gradually around one, like a placenta for dying.~John Berger

Past Dying Like

What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time.~John Berger

Art Time Light

Emigration, forced or chosen, across national frontiers or from village to metropolis, is the quintessential experience of our time.~John Berger

Time Experience Village

Post-modernism has cut off the present from all futures. The daily media add to this by cutting off the past. Which means that critical opinion is often orphaned in the present.~John Berger

Daily Past Media

The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich.~John Berger

World Poverty Rest

For the artist, drawing is discovery. And that is not just a slick phrase; it is quite literally true.~John Berger

Artist Drawing Discovery

A line, an area of tone, is not really important because it records what you have seen, but because of what it will lead you on to see. Following up its logic in order to check its accuracy, you find confirmation or denial in the object itself or in your memory of it.~John Berger

Memory Important You