4 October 2008

This isn’t going to be coherent – I’m sick. That’s my excuse.

I have rarely come across a word that when Goggled pulls nothing up. Nothing. But in the interview, in the apprendix section, on page 133, “Suddenly Danielewski introduces a startling paragraph, unfolding in fragments, provides the equivalent of Zupreuderesque, frame-byframe description…”  Maybe I didn’t spell the word right, but I was wondering about it.  It looks German.

In the discussions about unconditional love, I wonder if there is a certain argument that could be made for Danielewski’s love for the reader.  The ideal reader.  Maybe it’s a stretch, maybe a big one, but in the interview, he spoke of writing House of Leaves for that ideal reader who noticed all the nuances, and twists and shifts and plays with text, language and form, with the same sort of language that Johnny wistfully uses about that girl that he never meets, but longed for that can be found on 117 among references.  But it seems to me that Danielewski has a love of the reader and it isn’t out of stubbornness or the need to be an artistic recluse that keeps him from commenting on his work, but the concern that by his divulging of secrets, or what certain things mean to him, he would unveil the mystery and steal the joy of the puzzle.  Maybe unconditional love is too far to go, but he seems to have great respect for the kind of relationship between author and reader that holds so much trust, and after putting around ten years of work into the novel, it certainly would have helped to have an ideal reader in mind. 

Asystole.  “A state of no cardiac activity”.  It is one of the very last things Johnny has to say, maybe that is too definitive for this book, because is it really the last thing?  But the story he tells, “the one Doc told me when I was up in Seattle” (518) is also a story of unconditional love.  The connection between a mother and her brain-damaged son, maybe it is what he wished could have been – that he would have been the one with the illness in the brain and not her, and that he could have died.  But even with all the darkness that surrounds Johnny’s character, and the illusions to suicide that he makes, I don’t think that is what this story gets at.  It is just a love story with a sad end.

I had a dream on Friday night about a house that was bigger on the inside than the outside.  It wasn’t dark but the rooms that kept leading to one another had large windows, beds and bookshelves.  I don’t know what that means.  Maybe it’s a good thing we’re moving on to something new.


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One thought on “4 October 2008”


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    Professor Sample says:

    I meant to comment on this earlier: Zapruderesque refers to the accidental home movie footage of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, filmed by Abraham Zapruder. You can find the Zapruder clip on YouTube.

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