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All Quotes by author - John Berger
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" As Nelson Mandela has pointed out, boycott is not a principle, it is a tactic depending upon circumstances. A tactic which allows people, as distinct from their elected but often craven governments, to apply a certain pressure on those wielding power in what they, the boycotters, consider to be an unjust or immoral way. "
" Autobiography begins with a sense of being alone. It is an orphan form. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" Drawing is a way of coming upon the connection between things, just like metaphor in poetry reconnects what has become separated. "
" Emigration, forced or chosen, across national frontiers or from village to metropolis, is the quintessential experience of our time. "
" For the artist, drawing is discovery. And that is not just a slick phrase; it is quite literally true. "
" Hope is not a form of guarantee; it's a form of energy, and very frequently that energy is strongest in circumstances that are very dark. "
" I think I'm very permeable. I can very easily, without even choosing to do it, enter the life of another. Or, to put it in a more modest and accurate way, for that life to enter mine. "
" Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress. "
" Nothing in the nature around us is evil. This needs to be repeated since one of the human ways of talking oneself into inhuman acts is to cite the supposed cruelty of nature. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" The human imagination... has great difficulty in living strictly within the confines of a materialist practice or philosophy. It dreams, like a dog in its basket, of hares in the open. "
" The industrial society... recognises nothing except the power to acquire... No other kind of hope or satisfaction or pleasure can any longer be envisaged within the culture of capitalism. "
" The past grows gradually around one, like a placenta for dying. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time. "
" 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. "
" Words are so often used in the opposite sense, as a screen of diversion. It's the struggle towards truthfulness which is the same whether one is writing a poem, a novel or an argument. "
" You can plan events, but if they go according to your plan they are not events. "
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