About Looking by John Berger

http://www.powells.com/partner/37176/biblio/9780394739076?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 the pronoun. I am includes all that has made me so. It is more than a statement of immediate fact: it is already an explanation, a justification, a demand—it is already autobiographical.