I recently began thinking about the classic book by Ray Bradbury. A friend of mine tweeted about artist Elizabeth Perez’ rendition of the book. Around the same time, the work gained popularity/intrigue through websites like Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and Reddit.
She took the book-burning theme and incorporated it to the book itself — the spine had a striking surface and the “1” in 451 was a match. I had mixed feelings when I saw this.
I can understand the artistic value in her interpretation; the design is beautifully clean and the idea is evocative. The book-burning book able to be burnt is the point. I get it.
Nevertheless, it’s jarring to see such a beloved book that stands against censorship be subjected to even the possibility of the very same suppression. It’s almost counter-intuitive — if it hadn’t already been her intention.
After thinking about this for quite a while, I’ve accepted Perez’ design for what it is — art. It would be too extreme, and I assume even incorrect, to say that she did not value the book’s message.
For those of you who’ve never read “Fahrenheit 451,” I highly recommend it. It was one of the books that despite my being forced to read in school I fell in love with anyway. It’s a dystopian that you can actually believe and is rich with symbolism to boot.
P.S. No books were harmed in the making of this post.