what’s with the title of the story? does it refer to the navidson house or truants house or is what it is referring to not even a house in general.
the passage quoted in the book that may or may not be an actual quote but if it is i don’t really care on page 25 reads: “‘uncanniness also means “not being at home.'” [first off, this is an example of just how stupid and overplayed literary criticism analysis is because every word in the sentence except one is a quotation which means the thought isn’t even heidegger’s but he just likes to pretend it’s his idea] house is a physical structure where as home is a place where one can call there own and feels safe and protected. so, a house may not always be a home.
this is true for navidson, truant, and presumably zampano. the feeling of uncanniness is that their houses do not feel like homes, they don’t feel safe within their own space but it is as if their house has been invaded.
sheets of paper are sometimes called leaved of paper. truant’s home has become the navidson record. he completely loses himself within it and it fills his living space in the pages, painted on the walls, in the locks added to his door and the measuring tape nailed to the floor. this is all the navidson record manifesting itself within what use to be his home. the “not being at home” of feeling uncanny has changed his home into a house–something cold, strange, and different than what he expected and a place where he doesn’t feel safe.
his life is composed of leaves of paper where the story written on them is uncanny. house instead of home, leaves instead of paper because it is more obscure and another things for people to ponder over. done.
both the navidson and reston interviews are missing. much of the other information zampano wished to include is also missing. to get the full story of johnny truant we have to read letters from far before the story began. later in the book, entire pages or passages are missing–truant tells us they are either burnt or blotched out. what is danielewski trying to say?
in fiction, one never gets the whole story, no matter how omnipotent the narrator is. one doesn’t know every detail of each character’s life that made them that way and no matter how much detail the author gives us, we are never fully able to understand the world they’ve created as they see it in their head.
danielewski toys with this idea in many ways. first, instead of truant telling us about his mother and father, he only alludes to it. some authors would just leave it at this, others would have him tell the audience or the editors why he is like the way he is. instead, danielewski includes the letters his mom has sent him so we can experience directly his experience and, in a way, closes the gap between narrator and reader.
i’d lie if i said i wasn’t disappointed when i turned to the back and found both the navidson and the reston interviews missing. i wanted to know what they said. i wanted to know the opinion of two imaginary characters from an imaginary movie in an imaginary book written by an imaginary man discovered by another imaginary man. in doing this, danielewski is pointing out that we cannot always know the thoughts of the characters. he could have just as easily never given us the idea that there were interviews with these characters and we may not have known the difference but the fact that he does leaves us yearning for more and paying even closer attention to how the characters act in hopes of finding the person lying under the action.