200 years of Goldschmidt

Bob Katzenelson, M.A. Goldschmidt, October 21, 2019.

When we speak of cartooning in its present iteration within magazines and newspapers, we tend to throw out its age as that of "100 years or thereabout".

Now it is time to throw out "200 years or thereabout", in that he who made it happen in Denmark, Meïr Aron Goldschmidt, was born 200 years ago on October 26.

Peter Klæstrup for Corsaren, No. 302, July 3, 1846.

Goldschmidt created the satirical magazine Corsaren in 1840, with its very first cartoon printed at the last page of the last edition of that very year. We had not thought, being but a toddler magazine that we would have to dress in armor, Goldschmidt would write looking back half a decade later.

It would be tough years of having entire editions seized by censorship, court cases, having to find someone on the street to pretend to be that week's editor in that he was barred from writing his own name, and a row with Kierkegaard to top it all off. Then again, Corsaren was outspoken and daring, taking on the crown and courts alike with the wit of the young and daring.

Goldschmidt even gave us the first term with which to define cartooning: comic composition, when Kierkegaard accosted him in the street. As ancestors goes Goldschmidt is one to be proud of.

The French have their Charles Philipon; we have Goldschmidt. So from us all with a heart for cartooning around these parts:


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