Sunday, March 07, 2021

HOUSE of Leaves - part 4


HoLy HoL

This is part four of my real-time review of HOUSE OF LEAVES by Mark Z. Danielewski and it will gradually appear in the comment stream below…



17 responses to “HoLy HoL

  1. XII
    Pages 275 – 295

    I thought at first Tom was going to get a rope to hang himself, but it turns out to be a potentially clever pulley-system to help rescue those distressed and lost in the morphing hallway, whatever the length of the rope’s dubious capability to span such morphing or expanding — like today’s morphing and expanding Covid variants produced by Covid’s own existentialism to dupe any cleverness humanity uses to make it vanish towards an eventual nothingness, like the expanding blanks, too, here on the pages ‘written’ long before anyone had even a single co-vivid dream! An irony not lost on me in now recognising this book as a remarkable co-vivid dream in itself as retrocaused by mankind’s fell inability of emptiness to deal with a pandemic of doubt and global change and empty populism. A bookhouse that is ‘not for you’, because it is beyond you? This real-time review of it, unbeknownst to me till now, is perhaps my humble provision of another version of Tom’s rope…

  2. “‘I’ll tell you something, Clara.  Have you ever SEEN a minute? Have you actually had one wriggling inside your hand?  Did you know if you keep your finger inside a clock for a minute, you can pick out that very minute and take it home for your own?’  So it is Paul who stealthily lifts the dome off. It is Paul who selects the finger of Clara’s that is to be guided, shrinking, then forced wincing into the works, to be wedged in them, bruised in them, bitten into and eaten up by the cogs.  ‘No you have got to keep it there, or you will lose the minute.  I am doing the counting – the counting up to sixty.’ . . . But there is to be no sixty.  The ticking stops.”
    From ‘The Inherited Clock’ (1943) by Elizabeth Bowen 
    (Quoted here earlier today by chance.)

    Pages 296 – 312

    “Mostly the clock tells me the time, though I suspect the hands run intermittently fast and slow, so I’m never sure of the exact hour. It doesn’t matter. I’m no longer tied to anyone’s schedule.”

    Interposed in these sections of blanks and snippets of Exploration #4 of the Hallway expanding or morphing within the equivalent to Elizabeth Bowen’s sense of House is another Truant footnote that, for me, is the most striking postscripted prophecy of the mental health problems of our lockdowns today (read it and check for yourself) — leading into what I deem to be the most perfect example of our co-vivid dreams today, a waking dream that morphs, for me, into and from the Rape of the Cyprian ship and sea scenes real-time reviewed, recently in the last few days by chance, here.

  3. The gestalt finally begins


    The process of putting the hawlstars together as our gestalthouse has now begun!

    Further photos from my hi-8 will continue as the process proceeds towards completion.

  4. XIII
    Pages 313 -323

    “…a slow shadow spreads…” (second ellipsis mine)

    Stricken out ‘Minotaur’ from page 110, with a now defunct footnote number and a new Borges quote, leads somehow to the now famous arrival of Chad and Daisy’s lady schoolteacher at the house (worried by the pictures drawn of the bookhouse at school by the children as pointers towards abuse) amid the mayhem of some of the bookhouse spelunkers arriving dead from the Hawlway, others still alive, but no Will Navidson, yet, and you need to read these passages first to prevent yourself getting a spoiler. Karen is beside herself, understandably planning to pack and leave with the children. Some amazing material here that I genuinely find disturbing. With telling references to the word “grave” and my own thoughts about the word “bourbon” being an autocorrect for ‘ouroboros.’ The lure for the reader of returning to the uncanny areas of this bookhouse is irresistible, despite everything.

    “…a walker in darkness…” (both ellipses mine)

  5. Pages 323 – 327

    “The long anticipated disintegration, when the darkest angel of all, the horror beyond all horrors, sits at last upon my chest, permanently enfolding me in its great covering wings, black as ink,…”

    As we enter the story of Holloways’s experience of the exploration, his “madness”, we have a Truant footnote where he explains the gaps and blanks that he now has turned into […]s without the dots (cf the strangely coincidental ‘censoring’ […]s here) and that ‘angel upon my chest’ forcing me to read enormous close-closeted swathes of text instead of my sliding easily through many blanknesses! This seeming to be the opposite of ‘disintegration’, because it is a retightening (“what I hoped to lock out I’ve only locked in here with me.”) …as I have done with this book, condensing all Truant’s scattered papers into it, encapsulating it in a gestalt real-time review, as Truant himself effectively describes, a raison d’être that will also engulf each of us. More difficult to turn this book to ash than those papers and other accoutrements of Zampanò. Lude’s proffered zippo lighter, notwithstanding. Desilu’s too.

  6. Pages 328 – 338

    “It is almost as if he believes preserving his identity on video tape can somehow hold what he is powerless to prevent: those endless contours of dark[]ess stealing the Hollow[   ] from himself.”

    I don’t think we shall ever really know if these pages are representative of great literature to represent Holloway’s madness even if beyond ethe scope of my gestalt real-time review of Finnegans Wake a few years ago, or of complete unadulterated madness to represent Holloway’s madness in the Hollow Hallway, where, just as one example, the ‘doe’ he thinks he shoots is his erstwhile sweetheart Elizabeth, or of Zampanò’s own madness in contagion with all the stuttering, ash-burnt [ ]s, and the so-called famous researchers, he cites by footnote, into Holloway as well as into the rest of these events, or of the madness of Truant (“Zampanò is trapped but where may surprise you. He’s trapped inside me, and what’s more he’s fading…”), or the madness of the freehold author Danielewski, or the reader in his madness from reading these pages at all with close scrutiny!

  7. Pages 339 – 346

    “You can’t see the hollowness in it, the cold. Funny how incompetent images can sometimes be.”

    This seems some crucial crunch point of the bookhouse — literally as well as figuratively, even literally figureatively — a convulsive threat escaping from the Hallway toward all the characters, including Karen and the children, as reported by hindsight Interview itself perhaps based on hearsay. A non-reliance on photography as well as on a too painful memory, but we all feel frightened, somehow – not just the characters’ but also our, the readers’, fright! How does that work?

    “Thus the devouring of one theatre of the absurd leads to another.”

  8. Some people have asked why, in my review, it is always house, unless it is part of what I call ‘bookhouse.’
    It is all to do with superscripted footnote numbers or symbols. Work it out!
    It will become even clearer as this real-time review further develops alongside.

  9. XIV

    “It is amazing how many people save at least a few letters during their lifetime, leaves of feeling, tucked away…”

    The aftermath*, and we here learn what we all must already know over the years, of Karen’s so-called affair with Fowler, what Fowler thought about Karen, and the reported abuse when younger of her and her sister by their father perpetrated upon one of them while the other was left down a well. I have always wondered whether Karen’s psychological state was, at least in part, responsible for the cataclysmic physical happenings in the bookhouse.
    Alongside this is Truant’s equating by footnote Karen’s jewellery case of valuables and his own mother’s locket shaped like a deer, if not exactly a doe. Another digression that arguably means more than it seems. 

    *except it was not really an aftermath as a guillotine of closure, as Navidson, because of Karen’s earlier filmed infidelities as well as the rumoured ones, was due to return, as we think we all already know, to the crux of this bookhouse for one more exploration….

  10. XV

    A crucial chapter, I sense, where we see Karen’s transcript of her discussion with the famous writers and thinkers with whom she discussed the bookhouse, how they embraced it or spurned it, and we read the exact words of these explicitly named ‘gliterati’. Some telling revelations here. The Freudian sex embedded in the Hollow of the bookhouse, as a wannabe vagina thing associated with the ‘uncanny’. 798992FB-E0F7-4C77-A090-E7A0D76CFAB8This even stirred me to examine ‘Navidson’ as a name, the Navidad (nativity) of Christ as a son from his navel? Or should most of this have been redacted by a series of Xs in black crayon and tar to make the new XX book that — emerging in a timely synchronicity with my re-exploring the bookhouse today — bears a mutual synergy Navidad with the bookhouse.
    This chapter also deals with Zeno’s Paradox as equally as with Procrustianism. And Truant’s awakening again to his Thumper, where breasts seem more important to him than a vagina complex as a suicidal Hollow’s Way?
    Reportage of Karen’s cleansing catharsis — by her curating the (so-called normal) photos at the end of this chapter — helps to exonerate Navidson’s Will. Give or take a vulture ominously threatening a little girl in a time-distant war zone.

  11. XVI

    The bookhouse itself about the bookhouse, and, so utterly self-referential in this aftermath, it is a book’s real-time review of itself, intrinsic part of the universe or, incredibly, of the universe as gestalt, and its cosmogonic history, the meteors and XX striations beyond even moonrock analysis from the moonbase on the dark side, that though invisible to us, as a dark side, pervades our existence, the moonbase where the momentous entity from ‘space’ in XX became snagged, entrenched and embedded, including Navidson’s so-called wall samples from his Exploration of the spirals in the HollowWay, the bookhouse made minerally incaranate, as it were, with Truant’s footnote now making the words themselves seem as if they are tangible minerals or other alien material, as learnt from his mother’s madness with words that she once strangely coloured in.
    Venn upon Venn that even Noda Vennard was unaware of? Only Navidson’s doodles could possibly approximate my own pencilled marginalia in this very bookhouse, I guess.

    “Of course even if this planet were truly a hollow globe — an absolute impossibility — Tom’s dropped quarter still describes a space far greater than the Earth’s radius (or even diameter).”

  12. XVII

    Pages 384 – 393

    “‘The obsession just grew and grew until it was Navidson who was finally possessed by some self-destructive notion to go back there and yet completely dispossessed of any rational mechanism to override such an incredibly stupid idea.’359

    Some incredible thoughts and thoughts about thoughts here, about why Navidson returns to this bookhouse. His sole ownership of it, if officially co-mortgaged with Karen. The obsession with darkness, never to forget the addiction of darkness. Not to send other authorities or reporters into this bookhouse, instead of himself, like National Geographic. Uncertain echoes mentioned resonating with my doubts about reality again being stronger than reality itself. Navidson’s return to the bookhouse, despite the sad personal deaths having already occurred there, if deaths can be real in a bookhouse, I wonder? And then there is shown his letter to Karen trying to rationalise his madness in returning to the bookhouse. Delial as a girl’s name used to fabricate denial. And that photograph we already know about is incredibly, by chance, strongly resonating with my two simultaneous reviewing currently (here and here) with Time Present within Time Past within Time Future within Time Present and so on – by dint of photographs! After all, the bookhouse itself substantively feeds off supposed photographs as in a filmic flick-book, flickhouse

    “Not the photo — that photo, that thing — but
    who she was before one-sixtieth of a second
    sliced her out of thin air…”

  13. Pages 394 – 396

    An exposé, which we all know about now after all these years, regarding Navidson’s naming of and attitude to a small Sudanese girl who had effectively been collusive in Navidson getting the Pulitzer Prize for Photography, although there may be alternate worlds in existence where she becomes even more than his own Dantean Beatrice that brought him back to the Hell of this Bookhouse…

    Which brings me to my own POST-EXPOSURE EFFECT RATING to the Bookhouse! Mine equates to No. 9 but its “persistent coughing” is replaced by the “vivid dreaming” from No. 10. And consequently I am going to have a needed rest from this Bookhouse for a while, after which time my real-time review will definitely continue here:

No comments: