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That’s Art

In response to:

On 'Krazy Kat' and 'Peanuts' from the June 13, 1985 issue

To the Editors:

Umberto Eco’s remarks on Krazy Kat find surrealism “especially in the improbable lunar landscapes, deliberately intended to divorce the events from any verisimilitude.” However, continual references in Krazy Kat locate its events in “Coconino County,” and the real Coconino County—in Arizona—has landscapes not at all unlike the comic strip. Back to the drawing board, Umberto!

John S. Lew

Ossining, New York

Umberto Eco replies:

For centuries men painted unicorns without having seen them. I suspect they imagined them by putting together pieces of the furniture of their environment (Coconino County included), such as horses, dogs, and deer. (For further information on this procedure, see Horace, Ars poetica 1.) We say they are unicorns. That’s art, John!

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