From Library Journal
The artist who gave us all those great New Yorker covers reconsiders his life, from impoverished Romania to Mussolini's Italy to Washington, DC, in the Sixties. Buzzi transcribes conversations dating from 1977.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
It seems fitting that this most sphinx-like of artists should have his memoirs written by someone else. Buzzi, a friend since the two men were students together in prewar Milan, compiled these impressions from conversations recorded in the nineteen-seventies, and the result beautifully conveys Steinberg's aphoristic panache. "Art," says the man who made cartoons into serious art and perhaps philosophy, "precedes technique, just as the smell precedes the cake." Whether describing his childhood in Bucharest, flight from Fascist Italy, or life in America, Steinberg is full of superb anecdotes and quizzical observations, but there remains an evasiveness that reflects unease about the past. Tellingly, he says that he prefers not to revisit old haunts, instead asking friends to go and photograph them for him. On one occasion, he broke his own rule: "I was afraid of spoiling the memory, and I wanted to spoil it. And I succeeded."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker