That up there are some of my notes on House of Leaves, the novel-creature by Mark Z. Danielewski. I skipped Little Red Moley with this one, and used Giant Fat Red Moley Journal — and even then I used at least five different kinds of Post-its, haha. I could not scribble on the margins of this particular book and not only because I had a verra pretty edition — the margins were just way too full. And, given that a chunk of the material were in the footnotes, I would only be giving myself a headache if I added my craziness to all that was already there.
It was so fun, and dorkalicious, and I do apologize for having to put you through all of my ramblings — but good lord, I feel so accomplished.
I know you’ve had enough of me not shutting about this book, but even as I was reading it, I was torn between the certainty that I couldn’t write about it as well as exhaustively as I wanted to [because the book is so intricate, the task might just be impossible], and the whole Ah, fuck it, I’ll try anyway mentality that is, basically, the foundation of this blog [and, quite possibly, my life?]
So, all week, I talked [to mostly myself] about this ridiculous book. As a recap, here are those blog posts, with summaries:
- First encounter[s] with House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski — “And then the nightmares will begin” → Self-explanatory, I suppose? The many encounters I had with this book even before it was in my possession. First impressions, too. With the first questions of many.
- Style, structure, and the “endless snarls of words” of House of Leaves → As style and form are incredibly significant elements to the novel, I try to chisel my way through this very labyrinthine structure—which is, frankly, this book’s selling point, what sets this book apart from so many. It’s experimental, admirable—and damn, but it can be so annoying. Sometimes, I feel as though Danielewski doesn’t want me to read him.
- “A goddamn spatial rape.” — An examination of the uncanny and the house on Ash Tree Lane → Perhaps the subject of this novel: the house on Ash Tree Lane—its mysteries, its horror, and its ineffability [?], but oh, how this novel tries. And me, too.
I became rather obsessed with this one, I know. I guess when it hits you the right way—because, yes, I know that a lot of people found this book either too-annoying, distasteful, gimmicky, unnerving, and just plain un-readable [I’ve had several moments like that, see]—when it hits you the right way, you’re compelled to dissect and discover because of the so many questions it inspires in you, not to mention the revelations that stun you with the very way they’re crafted. That’s a mouthful that basically means: I liked this book, and I got dorky with it.
Which is not to say that I’m completely satisfied—with the book itself, and with my own exploration of it. I still have so many questions, and even though I know I’ll eventually reread this book, that won’t be for a long time, and the questions will have to wait. I have questions about all the things I tried to talk about. I have questions about characters, histories, that goddamned house, the structure of this novel, the horror it evokes, the issues of veracity and representation within the narrative. And so on, and so on.
But I’ve done what I can for now. Other books await me. Besides—holy cheesecake, I am tired. Also: Everyone who wants to read it, please read it, so we can scream together. Okay. Toodles.