Draughtsman Gummbah and his brother have a hobby of dreaming up the covers and pages of non-existent books. Almost a hundred of these are collected in Net niet verschenen boeken (Books Just Not Published). Those familiar with and appreciative of Gummbah’s morbid absurdism are unlikely to be fazed by another curious hobby more or less. Certainly the panel welcomed the book with a pleased chuckle.
It takes a fine understanding of the workings of a book to be able to get it so consistently wrong – and surely it is precisely an understanding of the workings of a book that the panel are supposed to flag up? Never before had so many moirés been seen in one place. And what about the washable cover materials or the shaky fonts from a Windows PC? Even for someone who leaves the texts for what they are, there is plenty here to enjoy.
One member of the panel failed to summon up even the slightest appreciation for the way the material had been turned into a book, but he was unable to convince the others. To them, the vacant machine-coated paper, the obviously unspecified endpapers and the overdesigned footers were all part of the fun. In an age of the scattergun school of publishing, printing on demand and e-books, perhaps books just not published might turn out to be a species on the way to extinction.