<...> The first part is named "The Mitki and Painting". Having stated this difficult problem, Florensky immediately draws a line between "The Mitki paintings" and "the paintings the Mitki like" <...> One of the favorite painters of all Mitki I know is Cezanne. Is he "a Mitki painter" in the same sense as the undoubtedly "Mitki" Perov who, however, is not appreciated by the Mitki? This is difficult question that concerns culture in general.

Florensky mentions a number of crystal-clear "Mitki" works of Russian Realistic art, the Mitki-ism of which is absolutely clear from the titles of the most pictures. <...> After discussing the doubtless contribution of the "Peredvizhniki" to the Mitki culture, Florensky seems to be at loss. What else is there to say? Fastidiousness and good taste doesn't allow him to praise some very "Mitki" pictures of the Soviet period. We can draw the conclusion that besides purely Mitki qualities, the Mitki paintings should also be good.

The author deals with Western painting in a few lines: "In Western art there are so few Mitki paintings they may be considered nonexistent... (The Western Mitki face the risk to be devoid of all national roots, yet Florensky is generous)... if the most Mitki picture in the world hadn't been created by the Western artist, Pieter Breugel The Elder. Yes, of course! "The fall of Icarus".

Then Florensky give the floor to Dmitri Shagin: "So, Shurka, it was like this... The sun is shining. Every living creature is having a good time (Mitka telling it in such a manner as if describing an incident that he saw five minutes ago. "Why are you telling me this?" I asked). Well... the birds, the beasts... A ploughman with his horse is enjoying himself... And Icarushka... Icarushka has only his legs sticking out!"

Soon Mitka has written a poem devoted to this unjust incident. I can recall only its ending:

"...and only naked legs stick out of the cold green water."

To be exact, Mitka has written what he calls "a longer poem". Here is the complete text of this poem <...>:


Poor Icarushka! Only his pale legs stick Out of cold green water.

This wonderful Japanese-style poem is now the most frequently quoted Mitki work. This the question, "How's life?" is followed by the standard answer, "Only pale legs stick out" <..>

Vladimir Shinkaryov.