Experimental Formats

Choose a piece of text and create a format for it in relation to the messages and themes present within the book.

Madame Butterfly by John Luther Long was set in 20th Century Japan. The main themes throughout the book are betrayal, broken trust and heartbreak. Each of these things can cause a person to feel feel ‘broken’ or ‘torn apart’. This book responds to this, in the way of needing to be torn apart in order to access the text. The type on each page is set both in Japanese, and in English, to make a link to the Japanese setting of the book, along with the Japanese Stab Stitch method of binding.

Black ink on black paper is used to convey the darkness throughout the story. Each page has been stitched by hand up the side, with a loop at the top, to create a tearing mechanism with red thread being used for this to link to the blood shed in the final chapter of the book. The insides of the pages are pure white to represent the purity, and innocence of Madame Butterfly.