Lachspiegel (Distorting or ‘laughing’ mirror) was published on the occasion of the eightieth birthday of Dutch author Harry Mulisch, one of the giants of post-war Dutch literature. It is a publication that will unquestionably appeal to the author’s vanity, even if most of the prints are grimmer than what Mulisch himself sees. But then again, by his own admission he knows himself only from the looking-glass.
The typography is excellent, the designer having expertly placed a rabble of disparate elements in some kind of frame. With publications of this kind you often find they go no further than a handsome cover, and that the interior has been given scant attention. This book is incontrovertibly an exception to that rule: the overall effect is one of beautiful harmony.