Friday, April 23, 2010


"For in the immediate world, everything is to be discerned, for him who can discern it, and centrally and simply, without either dissection into science, or digestion into art, but with the whole of consciousness, seeking to perceive it as it stands:  so that the aspect of a street in sunlight can roar in the heart of itself as a symphony, perhaps as no symphony can:  and all of consciousness is shifted from the imagined, the revisive, to the effort to perceive simply the cruel radiance of what is.

This is why the camera seems to me, next to unassisted and weaponless consciousness, the central instrument of our time;  and is why in turn I feel such rage at its misuse:  which has spread so nearly universal a corruption of sight that I know of less than a dozen alive whose eyes I can trust even so much as my own."

From 'Let Us Now Praise Famous Men'  1939 by James Agee and Walker Evans

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