May 31st, 2016

House of Leaves - First Few Chapters

Johnny Truant (House of Leaves)
Before I start, it has to be said that it can be quite a challenging read; mostly because of the nature of the layouts, fonts and different writing styles - amongst other things.  Plus, rather than try to retell the story, it would be better if I posted the link to the House of Leaves story and the link to Mark Z.Danielewski's site.

There will be additional links embedded within my post.

Disclaimer::: I know there are many House of Leaves fans out there that will know the book inside out - please have patience with me, I have only just begun.

House Of Leaves
Part of the challenge is to keep this story together, as there are many narrators, both unreliable and intertwined; also the footnotes (both Zampano's, Truant's et al.) can be difficult to unravel too. It is advisable to read the book with as fewer distractions as possible, plus I suggest maybe a bookstand, as it is 600 pages long and about A4.5 in size (for 'novel', read 'baby-style-old-school-telephone-directory').

Johnny Truant's narrative is peppered with listing, doubling/trebling and continually slides into a second person retrospective.  Short sentences in old fashion type font, then long rambling sentences that would give James Joyce a run for his money (see pages 48 and 72).  Is he deliquent, complex or a complex deliquent? Zampano's observations are largely third person, present tense (as you would when discussing a film in real time) and the whole lot is stitched together via footnotes and ramblings etc.
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The irony of all ironies, is that I was approaching the novel in the very same way that Truant tries to unravel Zampano's work.  I read, drop son at station. I read - realising that my brain has fogged over and then briefly watches Time Team and their discovery of a series of small walls.  Resume reading, private wondering whether I understand it, whether MZD is a great author, or a gabbling loon etc.(I veer towards the 'great author' point of view - even if his protagonist Truant uses the modifier 'maybe' too often; it IS part of his character). Disrupted by texts, emails, hubby revising for exam. Resume reading.  Rinse and repeat.

I hit page 80 yesterday - today, I will resume.