Saul Steinberg, 1914-2014

‘I am one of the few who has carried on drawing after childhood. I continue and perfect childhood drawings, without the traditional interruption of academic training.’

‘The continuous line of my technique comes from childhood, and was probably my way of writing in my illiterate days.’

Saul Steinberg

In 2014, Saul Steinberg would have been a hundred years old. We record this fact here. It is true we could have recorded it in 2014 and not wait until 2015, but out of modesty (and laziness) we have not done so. (Oh, look, another fact. Let’s also record it.) Thanks to birthdays being such a celebration, we have realised (and, of course, we have to record this discovery) that Saul Steinberg could have gone to school with other children his age, who would have been named Adolfo Bioy Casares, William Burroughs, Frantisek Capek, Julio Cortázar, Julio Caro Baroja, Louis de Funes, Martin Gardner, José Guerrero, Alec Guiness, Thor Heyerdahl, Efraín Huerta, Asger Jorn, Joe Louis, Norman McLaren, Nicanor Parra, Octavio Paz, Tyrone Power, Dylan Thomas, Anibal Troilo, Richard Widmark, and a few others. That is, of course, if they had all been Romanian, and more specifically, from the village of Ramnicu Sarat or its surroundings. In fact, they may have all been Romanian and this information has not been been made public for reasons we ignore. I can picture young Saul, drawing with a school knife on his desk; young Thor, building his first raft with wood ripped from a door; young Richard, punished in a corner for pushing the headmistress down the stairs; the not-so-young Julio and Joe getting into fights; etc.

Anyway, all this to say that Media Vaca has published two of Saul Steinberg’s books, Reflections and Shadows and Letters to Aldo Buzzi, and that this is the first time the publication of the book coincides with the anniversary of its author. Usually, even if we try (which, actually, we never do), books end up appearing several years later. We recommend the books, which are worth the while, and we keep a record of all these facts.

Image: poster by Arnal Ballester.