- Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognises before it can speak.
- But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it.
- The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.
- Includes seven essays that can be read in any order. Four of the essays use words and images, three only use images.
- The purely pictorial essays (on ways of seeing women and on various contradictory aspects of the tradition of the oil painting) are intended to raise as many questions as the verbal essays.
- The principal aim is to start the process of questioning.
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