House of Leaves Mark Z. Danielewski
(a brief analysis)
Summarizing this remarkable book in two pages seems to be a futile effort as soon as I begin to type. So instead of trying to achieve such a lofty goal, which is better attained by reading online book reviews and commentary, I shall use this chance to explain my experience with House of Leaves and my relationship with the text. House of Leaves has had a profound effect on me, even in the short time that has elapsed since I began reading it, and even given the little time for reflection that I have found since that first page. I have formed a personal relationship with the physical artifact itself - by that I mean my paperback copy of the 2nd edition of the House of Leaves. The outside cover is a deep ash black, with a glimmer of mysterious patterns inscribed on it, and the inside cover is a wonderful explosion of color - a complex menagerie of assorted objects, odd-ends, buttons, pills, bits of paper. This seemingly arbitrary yet tasteful design takes on special meaning as soon as one progresses a few chapters into the book, but the meaning is not of great interest here. In the short time that I have had to explore the text, I have come to appreciate its value as something of a work of art - with its complex textual topologies, interweaving and occasionally circular narrative; interspersed with poetry, symbols, mathematics, fictitious people and literary sources, not to mention great intrigue and mystery with a promise of horror. I have become quite attached to my copy of the book. I carry it with me to class, I show it to my friends, and I occasionally let go of it for someone else to look at. My mind seems to ascribe some value to this literary artifact - even though millions of identical copies just like mine have already been printed. I will not dwell on this point further, except to note that few texts have achieved such a status of 'art' in my mind. How is it that I became so drawn to Danielewski's...
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