Robert Walser – De Wandeling

Publishers Lebowski very ambitiously established their Book of the Month series by going beyond the idea of the reading club. The series has since been discontinued, but each monthly edition consisted of a forgotten classic of world literature in an eccentrically original cover. On the front cover, each volume had a photo referring to a particular period, sometimes to slightly nostalgic effect.

Here the Dutch translation of the Swiss cult author Robert Walser’s Der Spaziergang (The Walk) has been given the same treatment. The panel pronounced this the best-designed volume of the whole series. With its essentially black-and-white cover and sober design, the designer has succeeded in creating an attractive whole. In addition the cover is also provided with a transparent plastic dust jacket which adds another dimension to the general ‘look and feel’, though it’s one that’s rather prone to scratches. The typeface for the interior guarantees comfortable reading.

 

What works well for Walser’s De Wandeling is distinctly less satisfactory in another book in the series, Roberto Bolaño’s De Wilde Detectives, because there too much text is squeezed into the type area. Praise prevails, however: De Wandeling has been made with great care, it is aimed at a wider readership, and it displays pronounced aesthetic values. De Wandeling thus became the pride of a series which the panel decided did not quite deserve selection en masse. ‘Beautifully done’ was the consensus on De Wandeling. Sometimes there is no need for a panel of judges to be more complimentary than that.

 

Edition: 2015
Language: Dutch, translated by Machteld Bokhove and Ria van Hengel
Publisher / commissioner: Lebowski, Amsterdam
Designer: Dog and Pony, Amsterdam, illustrations and photography by Panoramio / Eduardo Gomez
Lithographer: Perfect Service, Schoonhoven
Printer: CPI Koninklijke Wöhrmann, Zutphen
Binder: CPI Koninklijke Wöhrmann, Zutphen
Dimensions: 150 x 230 x 17
Amount of pages: 112 p.
Number of copies: 3,000
Price: € 19.99
ISBN: 978 90 488 2638 4
Font and foundry: Minion (Adobe)
Binding style: unsewn hardback with rounded spine
Material: 90gsm Munken Premium Cream (interior), 120gsm woodfree offset (endpapers), 120gsm Wibalin Natural 501 Cotton White (binding), 0.15 mm pvc (dust jacket)