The article deals with the Russian and Polish phraseologisms including some proverbs and sayings describing madness and the lack of mind. The material has been presented with regard to dominating imaginations of madness and stupidity being displayed in the semantics of examined units. These units include – hitting, aside movement, the lack of sensitivity to outer stimuli, the fragmentation of entirety, lack of components, etc.
The article studies such cultural phenomenon as madness in its romantic (Edgar Poe) and expressionistic (Ivan Shmelyov) interpretation. Refl ecting upon the philosophical concept introduced by Michel Foucault the author analyzes how visual-plastic and verbal experience of interpreting madness in terms of literature is realized. Verbal and literary peculiarities of creating an aesthetic image of madness within the romantic canon in Poe’s story is compared to the specific features of verbal and visual images created in the style of expressionism by Shmelyov. Techniques of literary image visualization, revealing the specific nature of interaction between different forms of literature, art, cinema peculiar to the first third of the twentieth century, are studied in the process of transition from the aesthetics of story to the aesthetics of presentation.