The yurodivy has the gift to see and hear what others know nothing about.  But he tells the world about his insight in an intentionally paradoxical way, in code.  He plays the fool, while actually being a persistent exposer of evil and injustice.  The yurodivy is an anarchist and an individualist, who in his public role breaks the commonly held 'moral' laws of behavior and flouts convention.  But he sets strict limitations, rules, and taboos for himself...  For [the] modern yurodivye the world lay in ruins and the attempt to build a new society was - at least for the time being - an obvious failure.  They were naked people on a naked earth.  The lofty values of the past had been discredited.  New ideals, they felt, could be affirmed only 'in reverse'.  They would have to be conveyed through a screen of mockery, sarcasm, and foolishness.

Solomon Volkov 1978: Testimony: The memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich, pp.xxv-xxvi (footnote)