Additional Book Information

Series: New York Review Books
ISBN: 9781681372433
Pages: 288
Publication Date: November 20, 2018

The Labyrinth

by Saul Steinberg, introduction by Nicholson Baker, afterword by Harold Rosenberg



Throughout his career, the acclaimed artist Saul Steinberg created a series of unique, wondrous books. Far richer than simply catalogs or collections of drawings, these carefully arranged works formed a kind of continuous visual autobiography—a record, in drawings that are simple and detailed, comic and beautiful, of an inimitable mind’s encounter with the world.

The Labyrinth, first published in 1960 and long out of print, may be the best of these, an irresistibly witty and humane compendium of thinking and drawing. Here is Steinberg, as he put it at the time, “discovering and inventing a great variety of events: Illusion, talks, music, women, cats, dogs, birds, the cube, the crocodile, the museum, Moscow and Samarkand (winter, 1956), other Eastern countries, America, motels, baseball, horse racing, bull fights, art, frozen music, words, geometry, heroes, harpies, etc.”

This NYRB edition, featuring all the original art along with new editorial material, allows readers to discover (and invent) Steinberg’s world all over again.

Click to enlarge images



One of the towering creative forces of the 20th Century.
—Françoise Mouly, art editor, The New Yorker

For the six decades, [Steinberg’s] amazing work levitated this magazine; here was a major twentieth-century artist who also possessed an unmatched gift for the magazine page especially The New Yorker’s.
—Ian Frazier, The New Yorker

Is there any subject—or object, for that matter—that Saul Steinberg didn’t have at with his swordlike pen? Cartoonist-artist extraordinaire, he was a veritable Leonardo of graphic drollery.
—Grace Glueck, The New York Times

Steinberg certainly produced his share of classics, and in the process he helped pave the way for a culture of boundary-blurrers.... He showed that literature can be created without using a single sentence.
—Deborah Solomon, The New York Times Book Review