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Step 1 — How it started
Since we released the typeface Fakir in 2006, we’ve been thinking about an appropriate sampler for the type family. Not being satisfied with our ideas for a Fakir publication at that time, we froze the whole publication until an idea would arise which would satisfy us.
That happened one year later. In the first year of existence of the blackletter Fakir, activities around the typeface arose with the theme of voluntary suffering. The ‘let’s suffer together’ deal, that kind of work. A blackletter ain’t the typeface with the highest legibility. Then Ruud Linssen crossed our mind. This Dutch author, poet and journalist is the perfect person to write about voluntary suffering. Why? Because he is Catholic, that might be the best answer. And if there’s anyone who really knows what suffering truly means, it’s him.
To our surprise, Mr. Linssen was über-enthusiastic at our first meeting. We shared some drinks and thoughts and agreed that he would write a short story about voluntary suffering. ‘Give me two to three months, then I’m done.’ After six months we realized we hadn’t heard from Mr. Linssen yet, and discovered he was busy writing this book all the time. The story heavily started to grow beyond everybody’s expectations. Things got out of hand. It took him two more years to complete this book. He basically skipped everything else in his life during that period. This book became his obsession, on the borders of healthiness.
When he delivered the final text, he mentioned that every sentence had been rewritten at least 5 times. Also: ‘this book changed my life.’ It gave him a new dimension, as he had never thought about the subject that much. We couldn’t believe that to be true. ‘Yes, it is. Suffering has already been a major theme in my life for many years. But not voluntary suffering. This makes a big difference.’
The writing of this book became an example of voluntary suffering by itself. Then it’s a logical step that the complete book becomes an example of voluntary suffering. Every fiber in the book should reflect the suffering of Mr. Linssen. No, every fiber can only exist because of his suffering. Therefore this book will be printed with the blood of the author.