A Brochure
Two in Trio
door Philipp Luidl
(Novum Gebrauchsgraphik, juni 1988)

The Rosbeek plant in Nuth, Holland, specializes in the printing of fine business reports, calendars, art books, catalogues, postcards and posters. To remind friends and clients from time to time of their services, Rosbeek sends them so-called ´goodwill publicationsª at random intervals. The twenty-fourth in this series is a booklet containing poems by Wiel Kusters and Oskar Pastior. Pastior was born in 1927 in Hermannstadt in the Transylvanian Alps of Rumania, Wiel Kusters in 1947 in Kerkrade in the Netherlands. The two have known each other for several years. A visit by the Dutch poet to Berlin, where Oskar Pastior lives, gave them the opportunity to discuss and initiate the project. From December 5, 1986 to February 9, 1987, poems shuttled back and forth between Schlüterstraße 53 and Wilmersdorfer Straße 42.

One would write a poem and the other would answer with an interpretation of it. Which led to a new poem and still another interpretation. In this way, two groups of eight poems each were created and given the title, ´Two in Trioª.* ´Twoª are the poems by the two authors. ´Trioª means the third force, which can also be a person: the reader. The intimation is that reading these poems demands an active participation on the part of that reader. An accompanying note states that this small book, earnest but witty, is a new link in the chain of literary ´interplay between two landsª which Pastior and Kusters have been pursuing since 1983 in a give-and-take of enthusiasm and enjoyment.

Pastior’s texts are set in Joanna, those of Kusters in Gill Sans. Both of these types were designed by the Briton, Eric Gill (18132-1940), whom we number among our best European type artists. Piet Gerards from Heerlen designed the booklet in good Dutch style. It was excellently printed on 115 g/m2 Provolumen paper. This kind of assignment is a tradition in the Netherlands. We are reminded of the square leaves published by the lithographic printery, de Jong, and edited so exquisitely by Pieter Bratinga. Or of the efforts of the Blaumontag (Blue Monday) Press, an association of Dutch hobby printers which publishes single sheets of choice texts. What all these publications have in common is an interest in experimenting, a joy in creating something new and a subtle wit we may not immediately recognize.