Waiting for the Sibyl

Book coverWaiting for the Sibyl
Book coverWaiting for the Sibyl
Book coverWaiting for the Sibyl
Book coverWaiting for the Sibyl

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.

Edition: 2020
Date of publication: September 2020
Author: William Kentridge
Language: English
Final editor: Anne McIlleron
Image editor: William Kentridge, Anne McIlleron
Artist: William Kentridge
Publisher: Koenig Books, London
Available through: Bookshop, webshop
Graphic designer: Oliver Barstow (Amsterdam)
Lithographer: robstolk® (Alex Feenstra), Amsterdam
Printer: robstolk®, Amsterdam
Binder: Van Waarden, Zaandam
Size book block (w x h x d in mm): 195 x 270 x 21
Number of pages: 360pages
Print run: 2000
Price: € 60
ISBN: 9783960988656
Font and foundry: Josefin sans (SIL Open font License), Remo Pro (TYPE BY), Stanley (Optimo)
Binding style: Sewn hardcover with flat spine, thin boards with minimal square; hot melt gluing; linen over 1.5 mm greyboard; dust jacked folded in American style, printed on one side
Paper for interior (grammage): 80gsm Schleipen Werkdruck bläulichweiß 1.5, Cordier Spezialpapier
Endpapers (grammage): 100gsm Schleipen Werkdruck bläulichweiß 1.75 (, Cordier Spezialpapier
Material cover (grammage): Balacron covers Textile: Imperial Royal 4680, Balacron International
Special features: Paper advice: De Monsterkamer, Amsterdam. Interior paper printed on both sides in CMYK + skeleton black, some sections with extra print run in Pantone 300; dust jacket printed on one side in CMYK + skeleton black; selfadhesive label front and spine glued in embossed mould (80gsm Fasson Vellux, Papyrus)) and printed in 2x black + ecru tinted underlayer. Printing: HR-UV