Books

Philosophers by Steve Pyke

Constantine Sandis looks philosophically at Steve Pyke’s photos of philosophers.

“After a certain age, every man has the face he deserves,” claims Jean-Baptiste Clamence, the self-proclaimed ‘judge-penitent’ in Albert Camus’ final novel, The Fall. A century earlier, Abraham Lincoln had decided that the all-important age was forty years, reportedly refusing to appoint someone to a post in his government because he didn’t like his appearance. Aged forty-six and on his deathbed, George Orwell more prudently proclaimed that it was at fifty that “every man has the face he deserves.” None of them seemed to have a view about women. Nor did any of them consider the altogether more plausible suggestion that it is our parents, partners, employers and government who have the most to answer for when it comes to our faces, and that, by the same token, we might ourselves be held a little accountable for the faces of those we share our lives with.

This article is available to subscribers only.

If you are a subscriber please Log In to your account.

To buy or renew a subscription please visit the Shop.

If you are a subscriber you can contact us to create an account.

close

This site uses cookies to recognize users and allow us to analyse site usage. By continuing to browse the site with cookies enabled in your browser, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.