I tried to paint a simple landscape but something in the brushstrokes, or the grass, depicted a phantom, something I ridiculed in other works, utterly unintended. An anger arose inside me. The phantom was as false and sentimental as a big-eyed orphan, but to me it was worse. It was a betrayal of my talent, and I couldn’t unsee it. It was the loving gaze of a woman for the slavish toil of her man in a field. He had been digging potatoes. You could see her sickening smile and her sinister eyes in each potato. Angry, I smeared the paints on my canvas until they became a light shade of brown, but the phantom was still there. I had been defeated by a deranged and servile fantasy, abjectly horrible and unbelievable, except that I knew it had taken over. It had supplanted the reality that I had vainly striven to assert in my humble and failed career. From then on, I could never paint anything innocent; instead, it had to be a parody of the phantom, because the phantom was always there, in the brushstrokes or in the shadows.