Emily’s Presentation

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The present tense of the verb ‘to be’ refers only to the present: but nevertheless with the first person singular in front of it, it absorbs the past which is inseparable from it. ‘I am’ includes all that has made me so. It is more than a statement of immediate fact: it is already biographical.
(John Berger, About Looking)

This quote was referred to in Carolyn Kay Steedman’s Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives

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