John Peter Berger (born November 5, 1926) is an art critic, novelist, painter and author. The best-known among his many works include the novel G., winner of the 1972 Booker Prize, and the introductory essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a significant BBC series of the same name, and often used as a college text.
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- 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 in that sentence are connected by an and and not by a but.
- About Looking (1980)
Ways of Seeing (1972)
Ways of Seeing BBC and Penguin Books (1972)
- According to usage and conventions which are at last being questioned but have by no means been overcome, the social presence of a woman is different in kind from that of a man...A man's presence suggests what he is capable of doing to you or for you... By contrast, a woman's presence expresses her own attitude to herself, and defines what can and cannot be done to her. (p. 45-46)
- Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress.
- Publicity is usually explained and justified as a competitive medium which ultimately benefits the public (the consumer) and the most efficient manufacturers - and thus the national economy. It is closely related to certain ideas about freedom: freedom of choice for the purchaser: freedom of enterprise for the manufacturer. The great hoardings and the publicity neons of the cities of capitalism are the immediate visible sign of "The Free World." For many in Eastern Europe such images in the West sum up what they in the East lack. Publicity, it is thought, offers a free choice.
- p. 130
- Glamour cannot exist without personal social envy being a common and widespread emotion.
- p. 148
- The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We know that the earth is turning away from it. Yet the knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight.