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Author Topic: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski  (Read 2918 times)
pensodyssey
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2012 at 21:33 »

How many books have the idea that a house is larger on the inside than it is on the outside?  HoL, but also John Crowley's Little, Big.  Any other suggestions, the Tardis notwithstanding? 



There's that Borges story about the endlessly expanding library, forget the title now.  And in The Trial, buildings seem to expand in the attic space.
Remember that Borges story and also forget the title.


"The Library of Babel", duh.  Tots obv.
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2012 at 08:06 »

No word yet, Finny must have hated it.
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2012 at 14:40 »

Just got to where Holloway shot Wax... and the fucking footnotes go bizzzzzwacky.  It's treading a fine line for me.  I'm not doing the decoder thing (Drink your fucking Ovaltine?!), and, f'rinstance, sidenote 147... uhhh, not reading it.  Get the idea.  Skimming the contents of the blue box that appeared in the middle of the page.  I see the idea.  Enough good parts to keep going.
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2012 at 15:06 »

Just got to where Holloway shot Wax...


That boy cray.

The codes and stuff, you can find solutions at this forum just be careful of the spoilers.

There was a point that it kind of drug along for me but it picked back up as I wondered just wtf was going on.
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« Reply #14 on: Jul 05, 2012 at 14:30 »

Finally finished the Rifters trilogy, a great read I'd recommend - especially for free: http://rifters.com/real/shorts.htm

Watts released the books and all his works under the Creative Commons license.  So, go download the pdfs and check 'em out.  He won a Hugo for the short story, The Island.  I'll be reading his most recent (2008) novel, Blindsight, soon.

But I have some non-fiction stuff to finish first.
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« Reply #15 on: Jul 05, 2012 at 19:15 »

Sorting out the shit at the end, not yet to the letters from Momma.  I dunno.
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« Reply #16 on: Jul 05, 2012 at 20:34 »

Seems like there was footnote to go read the letters in the first half of the book, did you save 'em to the end?  I don't get the impression you've enjoyed it much.
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« Reply #17 on: Jul 06, 2012 at 11:11 »

Seems like there was footnote to go read the letters in the first half of the book, did you save 'em to the end?  I don't get the impression you've enjoyed it much.

I'm a read straight through, don't go jumping around the hypertext kinda guy.

Had my ups and downs with it, frankly.  More clever than satisfying. 
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« Reply #18 on: Jul 12, 2012 at 17:33 »

Yeah, just finished this yesterday, likewise not sure what to think.  Don't love or hate it, by turns fascinating and infuriating.  I suppose someone whose moniker is Finnegans Wake shouldn't fault a book for piling on wordplay and esoteric clues, but after a day of poking around the HoL chatter site, I'm no more enlightened than when I closed the book.  Codes, acrostics, intentional errors, hidden references, it should all add up to more than it does.  I start by asking what MZD is trying to do here.  Play with hypertext, lit crit, the endless rabbit hole of onionskin stories within stories?  Is it a horror story, a love story, or no story at all?  Who is real:  Johnny, Zampano, Pelafina?  Is the Navidson Chronicle real (within HoL) or a sly creation of one of the characters - if the latter, to what end?  To what end, almost everything.  What is the relation between Pelafina and Zampano (if there is one, or does Johnny insert "clues" into the Whalestoe Letters)?  Where are the minotaur references and Jacob and Esau metaphors really going, if anywhere?  Eventually, the idea of the house itself (bigger on the inside) sort of crumbles away like... the house itself does.  If one patiently unlocks the mysteries are the rewards worth the effort?

The Wake is likewise confounding, but it has its well-researched keys and guides, and it is not merely an original work, but otherworldly.  HoL is original but not of its own universe to any degree that the Wake is. 

HoL does not leave me with the sense of wonder that great works do.  It leaves (!) many open mysteries to ponder if one decides to pursue them, but the construction of this house (the novel) owes more to the patient sensibility of clue-gatherers of elaborate video games.  So HoL is a complex, sometimes erudite, sometimes troglodyte, but finally exhausting.  I felt like I had wandered a long time in seemingly dead-end passages of a labyrinth and wandered out into open sky, sun, fresh air.

I like to watch a good juggler, but I don't like to see him sweat.  MZD handled the bowling balls and chain saws, but his shirt was drenched.
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« Reply #19 on: Jul 14, 2012 at 00:02 »

Great review finny.  If I could add to it, I would.
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