so i’ve read the book house of leaves three times now and each time i’ve gotten something different out of it.
the first time i read it without reading any of tyhe appendixes but just as the story existed on its own. it went a lot faster but i feel like i didn’t get the depth i did with my second reading.
the second time i read it i read each appendix when a footnote sent me there. i got much more depth into johnny’s character and was able to understand his actions a lot better. it gave the book less of a narrative sense because the characters didn’t have too much back story but you could find it out from other stories. it was as if they existed and though the plot only presented you with one moment of their lives you were able to find out the rest. actually, the quotes and letters were about the only part of the appendix and exhibits that i thought added something. the incomplete ones did nothing for me and i didn’t get much more out of zampano’s character.
this time when i read it for class it seemed a little long winded and that searching for so much depth and interpretation in a book where it’s already laid out took away from the experience. when i read books i see the text existing as something on it’s own and, personally, i don’t get much out of literary analysis. some authors write their books for the stories and ideas and some [james joyce – finnegan’s wake] write stories academia will read it over and over trying to find the hidden meaning. i think with house of leaves danielewski is parodying this with the over-abundance of footnotes.
and the footnotes…each time i started reading i told myself i would read them all, but less than halfway through each time, i gave up because i rarely got any more out of them.