John Berger

(1926 / London Borough of Hackney)

John Berger Quotes

  • ''The media network has its idols, but its principal idol is its own style which generates an aura of winning and leaves the rest in darkness. It recognises neither pity nor pitilessness.''
    John Berger (b. 1926), British author, critic. repr. In Keeping a Rendezvous (1992). "The Third Week of August, 1991," Guardian (London, Sept. 4, 1991).
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  • ''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 (b. 1926), British novelist, critic. "Uses of Photography," About Looking (1980).
  • ''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 (b. 1926), British novelist, critic. "Uses of Photography," About Looking (1980).
  • ''Publicity is the life of this culture—in so far as without publicity capitalism could not survive—and at the same time publicity is its dream.''
    John Berger (b. 1926), British critic. Ways of Seeing, ch. 7 (1972).
  • ''Glamour cannot exist without personal social envy being a common and widespread emotion.''
    John Berger (b. 1926), British critic. Ways of Seeing, ch. 7 (1972).
  • ''Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display.... The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress.''
    John Berger (b. 1926), British author, critic. Ways of Seeing, ch. 3 (1972).
  • ''Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.''
    John Berger (b. 1926), British author, critic. Ways of Seeing, ch. 3 (1972).
  • ''The envied are like bureaucrats; the more impersonal they are, the greater the illusion (for themselves and for others) of their power.''
    John Berger (b. 1926), British critic. Ways of Seeing, ch. 7 (1972).
  • ''The zoo cannot but disappoint. The public purpose of zoos is to offer visitors the opportunity of looking at animals. Yet nowhere in a zoo can a stranger encounter the look of an animal. At the most, the animal's gaze flickers and passes on. They look sideways. They look blindly beyond.''
    John Berger (b. 1926), British author, critic. "Why Look at Animals?" About Looking (1980).
  • ''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 and not by a but.''
    John Berger (b. 1926), British author, critic. "Why Look at Animals?" About Looking (1980).

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