three such nonsensical words

If you were to catch some certified madman groaning over a table in his little cell, observe him trying to make something sensible out of qwertyuiop, asdfghjkl, and zxcvbnm, see him engrossed to the exclusion of all else by three such nonsensical words, you’d be appalled, you’d clutch his keeper’s arm and ask, “Is there nothing to be done? No anti-hallucinogen? No surgical procedure?” But before the keeper could even reply, “Nothing — it’s hopeless,” the lunatic would be up on his feet, out of his mind, and shrieking at you through his bars: “Stop this infernal interference! Stop this shouting in my ears! How do I complete my life’s great work with all of the gaping visitors and their noise!”

the musings of Nathan Zuckerman
in the novel The Anatomy Lesson
by Philip Roth

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