This is a monumentally conceived book in the line of another collected works from the same publisher, the poetry of Paul Celan, also a sometime Best Dutch Book Design. The panel found this volume sufficiently distinctive to merit selection. Bruno Schulz is what is called a writer’s writer, and he draws largely on his own surroundings for his inspiration. He is introverted, not a great lover of the human species. It is precisely this that the designer has succeeded in capturing. Plenty of black and PMS gold, black fore-edge, boldly sombre. The black cover has been nicely done, with a minuscule pair of spectacles embossed on the back. The two bookmark ribbons in black and gold are there purely for form’s sake: at least one of them is surplus to requirements. Not every member of the panel was taken with the layered typography on the jacket – now established as one of the designer’s hallmarks – but others found it highly successful, particularly so here.
The jacket and the typography of the interior are by the same hand, and they are tailored to the character of this particular book. Uncompromising and restrained. The interior looks as if the printing is rather grey, but that may be down to the slightly too wide and hence un-Dutch letter-spacing. In the detail of the illustrations, too, there have been some losses, probably because they were originally half-tones and are now printed as line images. There is also a cast-off miscalculation in the ten (!) blank pages at the back. A designer so sensitive to the needs of the book ought to have avoided this.