Wednesday, May 20, 2009

House of Leaves : The Big Read

As I mentioned before, join me in reading House of Leaves and post your responses and reactions on our blog. I'll have the first part of the book read by June 16th and the second part read for July 14th.

Its like an online, one-time, book club. And House of Leaves is one of those books where you want to talk about it as you're reading. I will post some info about the book as the weeks go by. Please feel free to leave any links or other info on this complex book.

Original posting about House of Leaves: The Big Read

From an interview with Mark Danielewski:

"This is your first novel and the product of ten years of work. How did you come to write House of Leaves?"
"With very little money, very little sleep, and a great deal of lunacy. You start something like House of Leaves, part of you has to be a board-certified moron. Looking back now I think there was a time when I could have stopped. Just dropped the whole thing. The house, the family, the strange chorus of voices. But then the day came--or I should say the night--when I realized that would be impossible. I had already passed some invisible line and the book was now in control. I was listening to its demands, answering its needs. It became a priority, a life-ordering structure. And well that was that. Welcome to hell. You get the full tour.

I think most people will say it's about a house which is bigger on the inside than the outside. These days though, I like to look at House of Leaves as a three character play: a blind old man, a young man, and a very special, extraordinarily gifted woman. The three of them are telling each other stories--frightening ones, sad ones; did you read the sex stories?--and it's easy not to see them. You get swept up in their narratives, in their images. At least I did. But then, just as happens when you're listening to a friend recount something, there are moments when you become aware of the actual person and realize all these things they're describing, the dialogue, the events, along with the gestures, even the hesitations, everything involved in all you're hearing--the errors, the repetitions, the energy--is in fact an intimate portrait of themselves. I see House of Leaves more and more like that. Three people. Beautiful, sad, and of course terrifying, wandering like the damned the awful halls of their collective imagination and histories, haunting us--or at the very least me--the way they haunt their own stories"

Image from literature sdsu

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