I always hoped that Ernst H. Gombrich and I were somehow related. He married Ilse Heller, a Czech concert pianist, which meant there were some degrees of separation. Alas, no such luck. None of my family lived anywhere near Czechoslovakia. But there is a slight spiritual connection. I began my “career” writing about the history of caricature. Gombrich and psychoanalyst Erst Kris wrote a book together on the subject. Apparently, the only place it was ever published (in a sharply cut version) was in Meditations on a Hobby Horse. And that is why I treasure this book. There are many insightful essays therein, but “The Principles of Caricature” is essential reading for any practitioner, scholar, or fan of this transformative art form. It was my inspiration for many years.
Comments about Steven Heller’s Book List
1. francis levy2/11/11 at 5:49 pm
I have always told people that I love Homage to Catalonia, but I' ve decided it's Orwell that I love especially the fact that he wrote l984 in '48. I must add my vote for satire. Isn't that the lingua franca of all truthful discourse. The rest may not be silence, but it's better than being sentenced to sententiousness.
2. erik schmitt7/26/12 at 7:28 pm
Homage to Catalonia has become my touchstone for honesty in writing. An amazing book.