House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Actaeus » Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:07 am UTC

Spoiler:
I don't understand the journal bits at the end, before the appendices. It starts on Oct25,1998 through Oct30, cuts (with a solid line) to a journal he doesn't remember writing, which goes from May1,98 to the 25th of October again. Then there are three lines of dots and a chunk from Nov2,98 to Aug28,99, which includes the band. Then, and this is the weird part, it jumps to Oct31,98 and has a different remembered outcome to his murder of Gdansk Man and Kyrie, which happened in the first section of the journal. Then, of course, he tells a story a nonexistent friend from an invented "recovery" he wrote into the journal in September '98 told him. WTH??

Spoiler:
I didn't think there was anything to suggest Johnny didn't exist in the letters...they end with a letter to Johnny about his mother's suicide, from the hospital.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:55 am UTC

Spoiler:
I vaguely remember there being some inference that she had no next of kin. Its been about 3 years since I read it however, so I'll have to give it a going over. I may be making that up.


Neat observation, again, I think it has to do with the creation of a story, or the perpetuity of a story being out of the creators hands... theres a very Frankensteinian element to the novel to me, where the creator is horrified with his creation and its independence.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby no-genius » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:35 pm UTC

Actaeus wrote:
Spoiler:
I don't understand the journal bits at the end, before the appendices. It starts on Oct25,1998 through Oct30, cuts (with a solid line) to a journal he doesn't remember writing, which goes from May1,98 to the 25th of October again. Then there are three lines of dots and a chunk from Nov2,98 to Aug28,99, which includes the band. Then, and this is the weird part, it jumps to Oct31,98 and has a different remembered outcome to his murder of Gdansk Man and Kyrie, which happened in the first section of the journal. Then, of course, he tells a story a nonexistent friend from an invented "recovery" he wrote into the journal in September '98 told him. WTH??


Spoiler:
Yeah, that story is weird. I'm not sure if the baby dies, or just disappears. Or if the baby is Johnny. Or if it is about Johnny in some way (since fictional men don't tell tales). ARRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!! My head!
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby pooteeweet » Wed May 07, 2008 6:25 am UTC

no-genius wrote:I'll probably need to re-read this at some point. My advice: read the appendix when it tells you to.


Ok, I've been faithfully following the labyrinthine trails of footnotes and appendixes, but what about when a footnote tells you to "see Chapter [x]"? Should I go ahead and read those whole chapters out of order? I read half of one like that but then went back to my original place earlier on in the book because I didn't want to spoil things... But reading the entire (50-page) appendix of Johnny's mom's letters when directed to it was definitely rewarding... Agh!

And I totally get that the way it makes you skip around like that is maze-like and confusing and completely on purpose to freak you out, and it's pretty amazing.

Also, did anyone else catch the bit where Johnny's mom says something to the effect of "Words are to the soul as leaves are to a tree" and have a "EUREKA!" moment? Am I wrong or is that where the book's title is explained? As in, the book itself is a freaky demon-"house" made out of words (soul-leaves) and you, the reader, are blundering naively into its evil mazes, just begging to get royally mind-fucked.

Sorry if the above is incoherent. I bought this book last week (after waiting several months for it to happen into my local used bookstore) solely based on the recommendations in this thread and it is, as promised, making my head explode.

*edit: I know this thread is really old but dammit, discussion better pick back up again now that I'm finally (semi-)in the know. And subsequently going nuts.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed May 07, 2008 10:57 pm UTC

So, I haven't read this whole thread, so apologies if I repeat things previously said., but I have a theory about House of Leaves, and that is that the book and the house are meant to reflect each other.

Spoiler:
Wikipedia points out that "leaves" can mean "pages" thus a "House of Leaves" is a book. In The Navidson Record, the house appears perfectly normal--except for a .25" error in reality. Only when this is analyzed and they attempt to explore the anomaly does it expand into the labyrinthine hallways, etc. Similarly, House of Leaves (the book), at least on the surface, can be taken as it seems--young hedonist with a tormented path finds a dead guy's scribblings and edits them, etc. Nonetheless, things exist that seem to contradict the simple story--Pelafina's encoded message of 'My dear Zampano, who did you lose?', for example. When you start to peer too much, you get caught up in a wild web of theories and entangled speculation. Just as the Navidson's house simply rejects tenets of reality like the idea that space has to add up, House of Leaves rejects the idea that the book itself has to cohere or be consistent with anything.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Chelinda » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:35 pm UTC

Sorry to revive this, but I was rereading the book last night and happened to notice that
Spoiler:
Johnny's dad was born in Dorset, Vermont, the same place that Navidson's family moves to at the end.
Just another little connection probably only intended to drive readers crazy. There's not much else I can say that hasn't already been said here far better than I ever could.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby the_stabbage » Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:12 am UTC

I really really enjoyed the book. I think it was well thought out and well written and the flipping text really worked and it actually elicited fear and paranoia in me, which is quite unusual.

Unfortunately I didn't read the appendices - I borrowed it from the library and had to return it before i had the chance.

Spoiler:
Anyone notice similarities between Zampano and Jorge Luis Borges? Blind author, creating all kinds of wacky imagined places: look at Borges' library full of 440 page books and The Aleph and so on. The Aleph is one point under a staircase that you look at and see infinity. Then there's the Zahir: an object that is initially inconspicuous but gradually ingrains itself into the mind and becomes an obsession.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Lutetium » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:47 am UTC

Oww, I'm reading it now! ^___^

Can't wait to finish. So far it's awesome.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Surgery » Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:34 pm UTC

Lutetium wrote:Oww, I'm reading it now! ^___^

Can't wait to finish. So far it's awesome.


you will never finish it, trust me. i read the last of the pages i had yet to read about 6 years ago, but I'm definitely not "finished" with the book. Seriously, if you have a certain kind of mind it becomes an obsession, much like the navidson record to truant (well, not that extreme). seriously, i will talk about to anyone that will listen, read internet forums about, read any articles about it i can find. I used to a notebook of notes I kept about the book and one day it disappeared and I tore apart my apartment looking for it. I have two different editions of it (two-color and signed full-color, both paperback), still looking for a hardcover that is supposedly out there somewhere (not too sure though).

On the topic of editions, there used to be a spreadsheet on houseofleaves.com's forums (maintained by users) of different isbn numbers of the books and the different variations in each edition. which (if entirely accurate, which I believe it was at least partially given that it was maintained by users and not by Danielewski) means that there are something like 20 or 30 unique variations of the book out there, not just the four listed on the inside cover. It was little things too, like the words "A Novel" appearing either in white or purple on the cover (my two color has it in white, my four-color in purple), or lines breaking at different places. weird.

on it being made into a movie:
my sister and i have discussed this, and we wonder that, since it is such a meta-novel (a book about a guy reading a book about a movie) would a movie of it need to add another level to keep in the spirit and feel of the book (a movie about a book about a guy reading a book about a movie). which might be interesting because it would the whole thing full circle, and i just noticed that the only person in that description is right in the middle, interesting, or maybe only to me, i don't know. i really need to find those notes. really.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Ramses IV » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:31 am UTC

Is it a...a scary book? Will I be scared? Or is it just real interesting and slightly creepy? Because the book sounds awesome, but I don't like being scared.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:38 am UTC

Ramses IV wrote:Is it a...a scary book? Will I be scared? Or is it just real interesting and slightly creepy? Because the book sounds awesome, but I don't like being scared.


You probably won't read the book and feel weird. But for me, what happened was not that I was scared while reading it, but that afterwards my own house was rather frightening in the dark, especially when I was alone. Your psychology may vary.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:51 am UTC

Are YOU KIDDING?! If you can read this book with any degree of investment, it'll scare you shitless! On more then one level! You'll be meta-scared!

I recall being terrified while reading this book, scared of losing my mind, scared of dark alleys and my house and of the next page and the dark/light.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby aeiss » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:37 pm UTC

This book scared me shitless in a very interesting way.
Well, I got the general 'oh-crap' scared, and then I progressed to the 'HOLY OMGWTF AAAAAAAUGH' scared. I think especially during that one section where Johnny's talking about the 'come-from-behind' thing(sorry to be so vague), and at that point, anything that moved, any strange sound, would cause me to jump, and instantly +10 to heartbpm. D:
Strangely though, during the scene where the crazy dude with the gun runs amok, I heard some gunshots being fired outside (I live in a dodgy neighbourhood), as well as a dude yelling and screaming for like a while afterwards. Interestingly enough, noone else seemed to notice/remember. D:
Last edited by aeiss on Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:44 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:40 pm UTC

I had a dream the other night that was very HouseofLeaves-ian. I was exploring an old Chicago structure with some people, and every time I turned my head the features changed, and one by one my friends vanished, until I was following the rope trail we left out, and the rope was getting more and more frayed, and if I looked away from the rope, it would snap and I'd have to run around and find the shredded remains. I woke up when I reached the end of the rope, and it went right into the wall. As soon as I got near it, the rope fell to the ground, and i looked at the end thinking 'I guess I have to go back'

(I couldn't find my way to the bathroom that morning, the path was more complicated then usual)
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby bbctol » Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:06 pm UTC

Started reading this book at camp in a library, only got a few pages before someone checked it out.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!! The House doesn't really exist, just movie trickery by Navidson. Who doesn't exist. He's just a delusion of Zampano, who of course, doesn't exist. He's just Johnny's crazy imagination. And obviously he doesn't exist, the Editors just made him up as a character in a piece of fiction. Wait, they don't exist. Mark Z. Danielewski made them up. Does he exist? Maybe it's just some sort of pen name. Say, do I exist? What about this book? AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuggggggghhh.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:55 pm UTC

aeiss wrote:This book scared me shitless in a very interesting way.
Well, I got the general 'oh-crap' scared, and then I progressed to the 'HOLY OMGWTF AAAAAAAUGH' scared. I think especially during that one section where Johnny's talking about the 'come-from-behind' thing(sorry to be so vague), and at that point, anything that moved, any strange sound, would cause me to jump, and instantly +10 to heartbpm. D:


Oh, hell yes. That scene is...Nightmare Fuel doesn't even begin to cover it.

bbctol wrote:Started reading this book at camp in a library, only got a few pages before someone checked it out.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!! The House doesn't really exist, just movie trickery by Navidson. Who doesn't exist. He's just a delusion of Zampano, who of course, doesn't exist. He's just Johnny's crazy imagination. And obviously he doesn't exist, the Editors just made him up as a character in a piece of fiction. Wait, they don't exist. Mark Z. Danielewski made them up. Does he exist? Maybe it's just some sort of pen name. Say, do I exist? What about this book? AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuggggggghhh.


Wait, what? There's certainly nothing that says the House is Navidson being tricky--that's the point of the passage about his tax returns. (That said, I've heard people disbelieve in the existence of Johnny, Zampano, Pelafina...so go ahead and think what you will about them.)
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby bbctol » Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:22 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
aeiss wrote:This book scared me shitless in a very interesting way.
Well, I got the general 'oh-crap' scared, and then I progressed to the 'HOLY OMGWTF AAAAAAAUGH' scared. I think especially during that one section where Johnny's talking about the 'come-from-behind' thing(sorry to be so vague), and at that point, anything that moved, any strange sound, would cause me to jump, and instantly +10 to heartbpm. D:


Oh, hell yes. That scene is...Nightmare Fuel doesn't even begin to cover it.

bbctol wrote:Started reading this book at camp in a library, only got a few pages before someone checked it out.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!! The House doesn't really exist, just movie trickery by Navidson. Who doesn't exist. He's just a delusion of Zampano, who of course, doesn't exist. He's just Johnny's crazy imagination. And obviously he doesn't exist, the Editors just made him up as a character in a piece of fiction. Wait, they don't exist. Mark Z. Danielewski made them up. Does he exist? Maybe it's just some sort of pen name. Say, do I exist? What about this book? AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuggggggghhh.


Wait, what? There's certainly nothing that says the House is Navidson being tricky--that's the point of the passage about his tax returns. (That said, I've heard people disbelieve in the existence of Johnny, Zampano, Pelafina...so go ahead and think what you will about them.)


Zampano always refers to the film as a normal art-type film, made in mockumentary style.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Surgery » Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:53 am UTC

aeiss wrote:I think especially during that one section where Johnny's talking about the 'come-from-behind' thing(sorry to be so vague), and at that point, anything that moved, any strange sound, would cause me to jump, and instantly +10 to heartbpm.


are you talking about
Spoiler:
when johnny is doing something with the needles in the tattoo parlor and as he's walking he says he senses something reach out from the darkness and brush his neck?


because if you are that creeped the hell out of me too. especially coupled with

Spoiler:
the mysterious claw mark in zampano's apartment, and the disappearing cats, and the almost fleeting mention of something called "redwood".


you people have made me fall off the i'm no longer reading or thinking about house of leaves wagon. i am now both reading it again and thinking about it pretty much 24/7. curse you.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby TallMax » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:01 am UTC

I saw this randomly on a 4chan site of all places, and it got me thinking

Spoiler:
It's Pelafina, Johnny's mother. Johnny didn't live past infancy. The baby didn't make it. And the pomeranian anecdote is definitely a clue to this.


So - whudda ya think? Also, Redwood - can someone attempt to explain this to me?


Other things:

1)I haven't read this in awhile - I tried to remember everything about it and I went crazy =[

2)My friends are going on a month long car trip across America; I'm considering giving this to them with the note "Here is a gun - blow your brains out" ... or something along those lines <_<
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:18 pm UTC

bbctol wrote:
Zampano always refers to the film as a normal art-type film, made in mockumentary style.

Spoiler:
He also spends a decent amount of time talking about whether or not it's real, and the "specter of digital manipulation". Then he concludes that everyone involved in making the movie would have come up something like forty million dollars short of being able to afford those kinds of special effects.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby aeiss » Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:05 am UTC

Surgery wrote:
aeiss wrote:I think especially during that one section where Johnny's talking about the 'come-from-behind' thing(sorry to be so vague), and at that point, anything that moved, any strange sound, would cause me to jump, and instantly +10 to heartbpm.


are you talking about
Spoiler:
when johnny is doing something with the needles in the tattoo parlor and as he's walking he says he senses something reach out from the darkness and brush his neck?


because if you are that creeped the hell out of me too. especially coupled with

Spoiler:
the mysterious claw mark in zampano's apartment, and the disappearing cats, and the almost fleeting mention of something called "redwood".



Yes. ZOMG. The cumulative effect was, well, terrifying to say the least.

I need to find some time to read and re-read again.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Gobo » Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:54 pm UTC

I love unreliable narrator stories and House of Leaves is the king of them all.
There's another layer of unreliable narrator people are forgetting about.

Spoiler:
Zampano was a blind man writing a critical essay about a film. His personal assistant was narrating the visuals to him, thus her interpretation of what she was seeing must have been part of Zampano's analysis (which was the basis of Johnny's analysis, which the editors published with their modifications and so on...)


I think Sir Elderberry's analysis is the best one I've seen.
Spoiler:
The novel and the house are like a fractal, and the more closely you look at either of them, the more there is to see of it.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:35 pm UTC

Would that be my comment on how the book imitates the house in the movie?

Also, as far as Zampano's blindness goes, remember that the film doesn't actually exist.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Gobo » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:24 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:1. Would that be my comment on how the book imitates the house in the movie?

2. Also, as far as Zampano's blindness goes, remember that the film doesn't actually exist.


1. Yes.

2. It doesn't matter. At face value, it's another degree of separation between the supposed events of the narrative and the audience/reader.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby pooteeweet » Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:28 am UTC

Hmm. Leaving aside for the moment that they are all imaginary characters of another imaginary mind...

Does the fact that the film doesn't exist connect with the fact that Zampano is blind and has the whole thing described to him by another person (another degree of narrative separation...)? Wait, you have to look at that from within one of the layers of imaginary realities for that question to make sense. What I mean is, I'd always thought of it in terms of Zampano inventing the Navidson Report; but actually it could mean, instead, that whoever was assisting Zampano in his research was the one inventing the Report. So... I guess I'm just wondering if there's an added degree of importance to whoever the research assistant(s) are; an additional layer of narrative... uh... unreliableness? obfuscation? Whatever.

I'm still only a third through and I can't find the right moment to pick it back up. I don't want to just read it a little at a time, surrounded by housemates playing computer games. I want to stay up late into the night , by myself, twerking out and reading it for hours and hours.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:54 am UTC

Wait, so you're suggesting that Zampano sincerely believed The Navidson Record existed? Or what?
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Gobo » Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:14 am UTC

The story is like a game of telephone. Somewhere along the chain someone was completely delusional, a fraud, or deceived. You can't tell from the finished narrative where that happened. Forget the film, are you even 100% certain Zampano existed?

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby scowdich » Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:19 am UTC

Well, we don't know what Zampono believed exactly; he's dead and/or imaginary. We only know through various footnotes and comments that he referred to his criticism and analysis of the Navidson Record as "my masterpiece", among other things.
I've just started reading again, and I love the multitude of ways in which the story undermines itself. Not only do we have layer upon layer of unreliable narrator (take that, Fight Club), not only is
Spoiler:
the notorious hallway described as existing on each side of the house at various points (north, south, east, west),
but I've noticed something else: on the very first of the Navidson Record analysis, Zampano compares the film to other hoax photographs: the Cottingley Fairies, Kirlian photography, and especially Alexander Gardner's photograph of the Union dead. Thing is, only his photographs of dead Confederate snipers were ever shown to be staged.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:55 am UTC

Spoiler:
Hah.

Oh, I like how Johnny, near the end, when he's having his epiphany about his experience with his mother, mentions that that part of his life, that "five and a half minutes...". After all we've heard of the "five and a half minute hallway".
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Upsilon » Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:05 pm UTC

I've just finished reading this book, and holy hell is it a difficult one to explain to people. I've gotten strange looks when attempting to do so.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby pooteeweet » Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:53 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Wait, so you're suggesting that Zampano sincerely believed The Navidson Record existed? Or what?


Gobo wrote:The story is like a game of telephone. Somewhere along the chain someone was completely delusional, a fraud, or deceived. You can't tell from the finished narrative where that happened. Forget the film, are you even 100% certain Zampano existed?


Well, for this (probably rather trivial) question, whether Zampano existed or not is irrelevant. I was, yes, wondering whether Zampano had been (for God knows what reason) mislead into believing The Navidson Record existed. (If he doesn't exist, then: whether he is imagined by Johnny's mother to have been imagined by Johnny to have been deceived by his assistants into writing a "masterpiece" about a film he had no idea was nonexistant.... you see why I say his [non?]existence is inconsequential! Mentioning that aspect of the book just makes it impossible to compose a sentence.)
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby william » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:32 pm UTC

I've been following the discussion about this book and I think I know the plot twist.

Spoiler:
How do you know that you are real and not the plot of some story?
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby NightStar » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:55 pm UTC

william wrote:I've been following the discussion about this book and I think I know the plot twist.

Spoiler:
How do you know that you are real and not the plot of some story?

Spoiler:
Because my life is hell of boring. :P


But really? After so many high recommendations, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with the book. Perhaps I just resent the postmodern literary criticism, or my fear of oblivion is much less than most people's, but it just didn't grab me or scare me. It's an unusual book, certainly, but I'm willing to let go of what I don't understand of it. What I managed to take away from it, or my hypothesis, is that
Spoiler:
The dark, changing passageways and the shadowy monster are physical manifestations of the character's personal issues. When Navidson resolves to go as deep into the house as he can, confronting it and moving beyond his fear of it, he is brought back to his wife, they are somewhat reconciled, and the labyrinth shrinks to a hallway. Johnny similarly attempts to make peace with his various issues, around the time he's riding trains, and I think he manages to escape or delay the monster-thing that's after him by doing so.
I think this idea was put forth in the book somewhere.

But then again, I could be completely and totally wrong. However, I doubt I'll be going back over the book for more answers; it's just not my cup of tea.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby NarwhaleAttired » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:52 am UTC

I know this is an old topic, but...

Spoiler:
I've just discovered that the spelling mistake 'heal' instead of 'heel' is made repeatedly, but only in sections written by johnny or in pelafina's letters. Since pelafina's spelling is normally perfect, unlike johnny's, does this add weight to the 'pelafina made up johnny' argument? Or does it imply that johnny made up pelafina, since the 'real' pelafina would never make a trivial mistake like that? She often mentions johnny as being far more intelligent and literate than he otherwise appears, even suggesting that he's fluent in latin, did johnny invent a mother who thought of him as he wanted to think of himself? Or as someone who would be able to 'decode' zampano's book?

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Mzyxptlk » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:37 am UTC

Read the first half, got tired of reading a word per page and put it away. Reading a book shouldn't be like a job.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby nevskey1 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:26 pm UTC

Spoiler:
You know how Douglas Hofstadter appears in a cameo role in the book (I mean film, I mean...)? Well I think that that is indicative of his influence (ditto Harold Bloom and his Anxiety of Influence (and the same probably goes for the others)). Anyway, one of the central things about GEB is feedback loops and consciousness and basically everything else found in HoL. And one of the central metaphors is pointing a camera at the screen it's hooked up to. What happens is it creates an endless hallway of screens within screens. If you move the camera back and forth, it lengthens and shortens the distance between successive screens (doors). If you twist the camera, some really cool spiral action can start to happen. And if you mess with the lighting, you get a visual ECHO that passes through the hallway until it disappears, being seemingly devoured by the blackness. So I also think the closet is a metaphor for the self. The exploration of it reflects a debilitating degree of introspection. (Take a look at John Barth's story "Lost in the Funhouse" to see the same idea explored in a similar metaphictional way.) Honestly, if anyone here's ever been stuck in the K-hole, they can't help recognizing it in the book. I think Danielewski is trying to point out the pitfalls of postmodernism's self-consciousness, self-reflection, self-absorption, and self-obsession. You're constantly moving further and further into the self in the book. (He said that the opposite is true of Only Revolutions, which doesn't even contain the word "in" anywhere __ it.)

Also, it's cool how "HoL" echoes "Hall."

Also, what were the chances that both HoL and the movie Cube would have a character named Hallway (or some variation thereof)?


It's a pretty good book and I'm definitely glad it's the capstone to my recent excursion through the halls of postmodernism. In retrospect the progression seems so natural and logical from Gravity's Rainbow to Infinite Jest, to this. It just had to be done.

EDIT: spoilered just to be on the safe side.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Monty40xi » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:21 am UTC

What I had heard is that there is no deeper meaning, there is no "what really happened," there is a story that was written to confuse us because confusion is scary. Contradictions and odd patterns exist in the book for the sole purpose of making you feel confused.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Nyarlathotep » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:42 pm UTC

God damn it. I STILL haven't finished it. *sigh*
'Gehȳrst þū, sǣlida, hwæt þis folc segeð?
hī willað ēow tō gafole gāras syllan,
ǣttrynne ord and ealde swurd,
þā heregeatu þe ēow æt hilde ne dēah.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby kinigget » Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:15 am UTC

Okay, given that I've just now gotten to chapter IV, I think I might have come across something important

Spoiler:
I think the overly dramatic description of the surface tension of the coffe and it's breaking were put there for a reason. I happen to think that the house is so full of of whatever the hell is going on in there that it's only surface tension keeping it from breaking into our reality, which also explains how it can be larger on the inside than the outside.


sorry if I'm stating the obvious or restating something someone else already said, I had to skip a lot of spoiler tags.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:37 am UTC

kinigget wrote:Okay, given that I've just now gotten to chapter IV, I think I might have come across something important

Spoiler:
I think the overly dramatic description of the surface tension of the coffe and it's breaking were put there for a reason. I happen to think that the house is so full of of whatever the hell is going on in there that it's only surface tension keeping it from breaking into our reality, which also explains how it can be larger on the inside than the outside.


sorry if I'm stating the obvious or restating something someone else already said, I had to skip a lot of spoiler tags.


If I remember that part correctly, I thought of it more as reflecting their personal tensions, rather than the house's issues with Euclid. Remember that Navidson is the one doing the editing here. Kind of, sort of, not really. The point being that he doesn't know anything about the nature of the house.
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