Throw Down Your Dictionaries

Painting by Mark Tansey: Discarding the Frame (1980s)

The horrible lot of an ordinary, normal man whose life is determined by dictionaries of easily understandable words and acts. The acts draw him on, like a fragile vessel rigged out with words and gestures. If the fragile vessel runs aground on the submerged rock of inapprehensibility, it is wrecked, and the sailor drowns. At life’s slightest jolt, ordinary people are deprived of reason. No, madmen know no such dangers. Their brains are more subtle. The ingenuous brain finds impenetrable that which such brains penetrate. There is nothing for it but to be wrecked, and – it is wrecked.

Andrei Bely
Petersburg (1910-13)

Painting by Mark Tansey: Discarding the Frame (1980s)