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Lab Creates Copy of ‘Fahrenheit 451’ That Can Only Be Read When Heat Is Added To It



If you’re a book lover who happens to be a bit of a pyromaniac, you’re bound (pun intended) to enjoy a new version of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. At the Holland-based Charles Nypels Laboratory (part of the Jan van Eyck Academie) a heat-sensitive edition of the book was created. As you might have guessed, high temperatures must be added to the pages in order for it to be read. 

The unique copy was a collaboration between the lab and the graphic design collective Super Terrain. As TwistedSifter reports, the lab-made pages are covered in what appears to be black soot but is actually a screen-printed layer. In order to read the words, high temperatures must be applied.

Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1953 and is set in dystopian America where books are prohibited. Firemen are no longer relied on to put out fires but to start them to eradicate books. The story follows Guy Montag as he slowly begins to understand the world around him. Reportedly, the inspiration behind the new experimental edition is found in the book’s tagline, which reads, “Fahrenheit 451 – the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns.”

A video demonstrating the fireproof fictional work was recently shared to Instagram, with the caption: “This week our colleagues from Super Terrain are working in the Lab as a last stop on their all-over-Europe printing adventures. They showed us this remarkable book they made “Fahrenheit 451”.

If you’d like to get your hands on a fireproof copy of Fahrenheit 451 for yourself, you may be in luck. When asked on Instagram, the group replied: “We’re working on it! Stay tuned.”

Though Fahrenheit 451 is a work of fiction, it serves to remind the populace about the importance of books and other reading materials. It also warns of the potential repercussions of allowing a fascist regime or totalitarian dictatorship to get out of control. Without knowledge, which (some might argue) is best-sourced from printed books, the populace has no footing from which to gain hold and transcend previous generations’ successes. Hopefully, as this heat-sensitive version of Fahrenheit 451 goes viral, people are reminded of the fact that knowledge truly is power. 

h/t Twisted Sifter

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