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Berger on Poverty

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Charlotte Street links to a brilliant piece by John Berger on poverty from Open Democracy.

It’s just fantastic. Pretty jaded, have been reading too much, in fact the eyes seem to be starting to go in the way that they will at this point in an academic career. But Berger hits hard, right in the head and heart (whichever order…)

Take this paragraph, near the end:

Here the future’s unique gift is desire. The future
induces the spurt of desire towards itself. The young are more flagrantly young
than on the other side of the wall. The gift appears as a gift of nature in all
its urgency and supreme assurance. Religious and community laws still apply.
Indeed amongst the chaos which is more apparent than real, these laws become
real. Yet the silent desire for procreation is incontestable and overwhelming.
It is the same desire that will forage for food for the children and then seek,
sooner or later, (best sooner) the consolation of fucking again. This is the
future’s gift.

I’m not sure Berger’s not the left writer most worthy of emulation today. That’s what I can’t help but think each time I dip in…. God, the brilliant dictional drop in the second to last sentence. Makes you feel as though you’re reading the word "fuck" again for the first time – or that’s been transfigured somehow into something it hasn’t been nearly forever…

Written by adswithoutproducts

February 19, 2005 at 1:59 am

Posted in Culture

One Response

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  1. Poor? Lets mean it in English

    When John Berger wrote his ‘ten dispatches’ about endurance in the face of the walls that surround poverty (around two billion of us live on $2 a day) he wanted a good old-fashioned print readership. He wanted readers to take

    oD Today

    February 20, 2005 at 2:35 pm


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