Convergence (1952) by Jackson Pollock

The ideological instability of the beginning of the 20th century is also connected to the confusion caused by the “flood of information” (flusso di informazioni) typical of our century. What seemed at the beginning a new instrument for the improvement (miglioramento) of man’s knowledge (conoscenza), has turned out to be (si è rivelato), in the long run (nel lungo termine), a boomerang. In place of learning “to swim better”, modern man has drowned in the “ocean of information”.(invece di imparare a nuotare meglio, l’uomo moderno annega in un mare di informazioni)

The development (sviluppo) of mechanization and automation has also increased 20th-century man’s anxiety rather than alleviated it. The acceleration of rhythms started by mechanization  has infected all aspects of man’s life, and has become a serious source of neurosis for him. The hopes that, at the beginning of the century, many still had in the progressive liberating effects (effetti liberatori del progresso) of these innovations, were soon disappointed (delusi) by the alienation resulting from being transformed from a user (colui che usa)  of machines into a part of a machine.

All these traumas, frustrations, fears have left an important mark on the artists of the “age of anxiety”.

Particularly effective to understand the anxiety of the authors is the study of the artistic language as the anxiety of our century increasingly corrodes the artist’s very articulateness and the language no longer communicates. In literature examples are Beckett’s silences, Pinter’s verbal misunderstandings, T. S. Eliot’s non communicative iterations and, in  visual arts Bacon’s syntactic weakness (debolezza) and Pollock’s refusal to give any order to reality and so on.

It is a sign of the vague line  existing between art and insanity.