Book with brick

The image you see is without consciousness. Whatever interpretive inference you made of it was not original to the image. You drew your conclusion in your mind, where the words are. The inference was the perception-effect of a silent surface, and to think that it was a reading in words of a wordlesssly depicted life would be sentimental.  On its surface, an image of a cat is not a cat but an image. Its surface is only a dead layer of ink or pixels.

But ink can depict. If it happens to depict words, those can establish an off-image connection between what is seen in the image and what is thought imagelessly with words. Off-image, you can imagine a cat clawing open a book whose title includes a word: Krazy. Then you can read the book and learn the word.

George Herriman, Krazy’s creator, was a black man passing as white. With its never-changing but ever-morphing language and its never-changed theme of love met with a thrown brick, his daily comic strip must have borne a connection with the secret life of his mind.  Herriman gave the secret a black disguise and a blurred name: kat. Thereafter, day after day, pulsed by clock and calendar, George Herriman would sit before his drawing board and throw an image of a brick toward kat’s head. Day by day, it seemed that kat’s love-words were about to echo from the brick’s arriving surface. But the echo never came and the brick would always bounce off kat’s skull. The calendar page would turn; daily between 1913 and 1944, kat would speak love and then his silent brick would fall. But the next day, undyingly, as if its trajectory were a route of spring hope, the fall would be redrawn.