1. …On a busy street one quickly becomes a voyeur. An air of danger, eroticism, and crushing solitude play hide-and-seek in the crowd. The in­determinate, the unforeseeable, the ethereal, and the fleeting rule there. The city is the place where the most unlikely opposites come together, the place where our separate intuitions momentarily link up. The myth of Theseus, the Minotaur, Ariadne, and her thread continue here.

    The city is a labyrinth of analogies, the Symbolist forest of correspondences. Like a comic-book Spider-Man, the solitary voyeur rides the web of occult forces.


    Charles Simic, from Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell, coming out in paperback this September.

    Dime-Store Alchemy