Last night I had stopped at p.504, because I wasn't taking much of it in, to be frank. Fragments of text are ok to decipher at two in the afternoon; not so great when you are an hour off of bedtime. Words and bars of a song - even printed (but not bevelled) braille, which is read as follows;
'The walls are endlessly bare. Nothing hangs on them, nothing defines them. They are without texture. Even to the keenest eye or most sentient fingertip, they remain unreadable. You will never find a mark there. No trace survives. The walls obliterate everything. They are permanently absolved pg all record. Oblique, forever obscure and unwritten. Behold, the perfect pantheon of absence' (p.423).
Staring into an abyss and letting it stare back at you.
'"There is no wind, no sound, no change of temperature. There was just this terrible emptiness reaching up for me"' (p.436).
Perhaps then, this is about Navison's nemesis - the make or break that excludes everything else. If the fall is textual, then there will be a hell of an abrupt full stop at the end. He starts to realise that he is dying and thinks of his children, Karen. His life has been governed by 'seat-of-the-pants experience', but when faced with death, he realises the sum of his life is his family, his wife.
Interesting; as Navidson's end seems inevitable - in Truant's world, his best friend Lude has just been killed in a motor cycle accident. Truant's already-flimsy sense of self unravels further and it looks like he is trying to find his long lost mother.
I get the sense too, that realities are sliding - who in fact is having this trip? Johnny or Navy? Is Johny actually alive? Or rather, is he a thought-up part of the story - functioning merely as an agent to Zampano's writing?
'"I have no sense of anything other than myself"' (p.470). Navidson making himself accountable?
Shame there isn't a Shmoop or Sparknote page to make proper sense of this - probably because it would end up twice as long as HoL and that would rather defeat the object.