A devastatingly attractive book bound with a short square. A particularly beautiful touch is that the velvety Imperial linen has almost the same feel as the print on the end papers. The interior seems to have been printed in several layers. The materialisation really lifts this publication to a higher plane, to unanimous acclaim from the jury. The hand of the designer is nicely invisible in this book by artist William Kentridge, although he could perhaps have prevented a highish number of typographical errors in the few pages of typography.
The book is a clever representation, if not replacement for, a chamber opera that could not be performed more often owing to the coronavirus measures. On the rear wall of a dynamic decor full of revolving mobiles, large painted images, shadows and words (from the libretto) are projected on top of backgrounds, projected even larger, such as forms and a dictionary. No photographs of this decor have been reproduced, but rather a new artwork in book form has been created by making use of the dictionary (almost in facsimile) as a purely aesthetic bearer of the fascinating drawings and paintings. This is interspersed with large bled-off spreads of painted oak leaves, which are prompted by the predictions the eponymous heroine of this chamber opera, the Sibyl of Cumae, wrote upon these. The wind generated by the mobiles revolving on the stage is almost palpable. With this book in hand, it is not such a torment to wait for the prophetess.