House of Leaves was not a pleasure to read and I think that was the aim of Mark Z. Danielewski. Although, I’m sure he could care less what I think. If it was a mystery I didn’t care what happened to the characters. Whoever the author, whether Danielewski, Zampano, or Johnny, he succeeded in making it difficult to follow, I can see how it has an occult following. The book was an acquired taste. The one quality I did enjoy is that whoever the author, they seemed ok with me reading it the way I felt comfortable. In my opinion, Navidson should have left that women, Karen, she was bad for his health. Also, the characters lacked faith and because of that they were led in any direction the house wanted to lead them. I felt there was a simple solution, move!
As a slave preoccupied with freedom I knew the only way to slay my Minotaur was to not allow it to direct the tour. While reading House of Leaves, I would leave the house, knock a wall down and follow the path I felt best for my comprehension. What I mean is, I would read each font to its end and disregard the annoying interruptions. This way, this path, my way, my path. This was my way of slaying the Minotaur and not letting this book drive me mad.
Finally, the week is over and I am ready to go home to visit my family for break! I got everything done, of course, because my time management skills are superb, even without a time turner. I’ve finished midterm exams, midterm papers, midterm projects, and am all packed. The only thing left I have to do is fight Crookshanks to get into his carrier and board the train.
I’m looking forward to reading some new books over the break, especially since I just finished House of Leaves which was a major headache to me. Thankfully, it allowed me to connect with new friends from all over time and space who also commiserated over it. I’m slightly exagerrating because it wasn’t all that awful, it just wasn’t formatted the way traditional books are. There was a learning curve in understanding it, and reading is second nature to me, so I struggled. But, I suppose struggling is a sign of gaining more knowledge in the end. And the more knowledge I have, the better!
My favorite work that I did for this project was my Graphomaniac piece. It was so visual when I read the passage, that it was my first idea when we were assigned this project.
So I had to read this article by Jessica Pressman on House of Leaves. She primarily explored the relationship between the book and digital media. For example there is an album by the band Poe about House of Leaves and referenced in House of Leaves. Also, the word “house” is always in blue in the book to resemble hyperlinks. This along with our project made me think about the future of books in the digital age. Will we ever get to a point where books can’t be read without the internet in front of us because it will become normal to follow books’ instructions to go online in order to further the story and then return to the printed text? I doubt it, because that just seems to cumbersome to the average reader, but I might be wrong. Maybe this is the upcoming trend in books.
So after about a week of patiently waiting, passing by his apartment door and cats still lurking around the courtyard, I notice the note I left on the door vanished. For around a day there was nothing there. The next morning, as I walked past Zampanó’s house, I noticed another note, looking disheveled, posted hastily on the door. I trotted over and was met with a composite of a post card, old receipt and library card all taped together. The message was in a spiral around a blue square he drew in the middle. The note read as follows.
“Dear Ms. McClellan,
I received your message, although I must decline your offer. Everything in this world is not quite as it seems^1.
- I Acquired My kNack Of Transparency Recently, Especially After Losing my mind.”
I noticed that his door was cracked open, and I pushed it slightly, only to reveal emptiness with scattered papers covering every square inch of floor. About that time a cat slipped past me, I took one final look, and shut the door. Maybe he’s right. One thing is for sure, whoever he is certainly doesn’t want to be found.
It seems that our class has very different thoughts on having to have read House of Leaves. Personally, I think it was a super weird book but a very interesting read. I really like experiences, whether that be in an activity, in a meal, or in a book! And House of Leaves certainly was an experience to read. As well as the most unique plot I have ever read.
This is going to sound crazy, but I kind of wish the house on Ash Tree Lane in House of Leaves was real. I’m currently looking at apartments in New York City for next year and pricy is an understatement. A three bedroom apartment in Brooklyn is approximately $2000 a month which is roughly $660 per person if split between three people and that doesn’t even include water, electricity, wifi, etc. The cost of living in NYC is ridiculous. I wish we could just get a one bedroom apartment with a closet that expands magically into other rooms like in House of Leaves— an infinite amount of square footage for the price of a shoebox sized apartment. Of course, I would want it without all of the dangers presented in House of Leaves, but it doesn’t exist. House of Leaves is just a book after all.
P.S. Anyone want to donate funds to help me afford my future rent?
I’m preparing myself for another grey weekend, but this time, instead of curling up with my cat and a good book, I’ll be hard at work in the library. So much to do and so little time! I have no doubt I’ll get it done, but it’s a matter of time and stress that I must endure. I’m really not looking forward to it.
On the plus side, we’re done reading House of Leaves and now we’re looking further into it! I don’t have much to offer because as I’ve said previously, I’m incredibly lost, but I still enjoy offering my thoughts where I can!
I wish I could spend more time formulating my thoughts on House of Leaves and the intention the author had while writing it, but I am very frazzled and confused by the novel. Here’s to less confusing reads in the future!
In class the other day we got to draw with crayons and it reminded me of that time my father, Hans, and I drew words and phrases on the basement wall when he taught me language. It helped me learn a lot about forming words and the basement looked pretty great afterwards… or should I say “afterwords”? I thought creating our mental images of the house was a great idea to tangibly express the intangible, making the lack of reality into reality. I think Danielewski would agree…