Notes Toward Interpretation

Giorgio de Chirico’s “The Child’s Brain” (1914)
Giorgio de Chirico’s “The Child’s Brain” (1914)

The child admires, is afraid of and tries to be ahead of adults, and child’s mind likes to imitate and to outsmart them.

When adult is just an adult, the child’s mind wants the child to be instantly more adult than the adult.

If the adult is shaving, the child’s mind wants the child to have mustache and beard.

When the adult is older than just being an adult, the child’s mind wants the child to be a bit bold.

When the adult is reading a book, the child’s mind wants to know what is in the book without reading it.

When the adult looks around and notices details which the child misses, the child‘s mind wants to know what is around without even looking at it.

While the child needs warmth and protection of the adult’s body, the child’s mind wants him to be harder and hairier than the adults.

While the child is sociable and prone to glue to adults, the child’s mind is instinctively a hermit – it always feels itself in between walls and dividers ready to launch an innocent attacks on the adults’ confidence and wisdom.

Where adults make life and settle down in it, the child’s mind only perceives empty decorations.

As soon as adults feel well under the sky, the child’s mind ignores and marginalizes this permanent feature of human life.

While the child tries to master its own and the adults’ world, its mind dreams of an alternative to everything: to body, to nature, to the world of artifacts, to rituals and culture, to knowledge and to its absence.

While the child likes light, child’s mind’s treasure is the empty darkness from which it tries to juggle out its ideas which beat the boring human adulthood.

Like aging is result of the discrepancy between genetic code and reading of it by the body, all the disharmonies and as much innovative as regressive waves of energies come because of the incompatibility between childhood and adulthood. But as soon as child’s mind cannot monitor the adult means of self-expression and self-realization it stays hermetic – blind, mute, and foreclosed, with spasms of imaginary excitements. They pierce the adult mind with morbid and inept exotic visions.

The child’s mind is not a mind at all; it is just a child’s brain.