cluttering the net since 2001

"House of Leaves." Mark Danielewski

Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2002
I have wanted to read this book for so long and yet I’m always full of trepidation and fear that I won’t be able to keep up. When you add my recent failure to interpret and understand “A Clockwork Orange” then it all just leads me to fear attacking “house..” There are books that call to me from the mere impact that they have had on the literary world recently. There are just those books that I feel the need to know about on a deeper level. While “House…” is a rather long book and jam packed full of footnotes and unusual text and the use of font, etc… I find the basis of the story to be one that would appear at first to be quite interesting. It’s a book that gets mostly high marks on opinion from the general public and this encourages me. And yet there’s always that one person that says “utterly difficult to interpret” and I put my head in my hands and remind myself of Anthony Burgess and his insane creation of a new language in which to write a book that insists you learn said language in order to enjoy an otherwise quite entertaining premise.

“House..” is written by Mark Danielewski who is Poe’s brother. Poe of “hey pretty do you wanna take a ride with me” lyrical fame. I own her CD “Haunted” and while it’s eerie at times, sucks at other times and never made it’s way entirely under my skin, there is a certain amount of spoken word quality to it that does get to me every time I do put it on. No one else in my house can stand that CD and that adds to the reason that I rarely listen to it. I can only say that when I do I am moved, bothered and intrigued with some quality about her music that I haven’t found often in music. It is reminiscent of Nicole Blackman for whom I completely idolize. If I could be any girl I would be Nicole Blackman on the inside and Jennifer Connelly on the outside. The idea of being exactly that girl pieced together into an entire whole human just makes my brain orgasm and my soul fly above a daisy meadow somewhere beautifully serene.

Ok I got lost there in a thought. My point being that “House..” is a book that I always go and pick up at the bookstore and then I fear it is beyond my comprehension and I flip through its 708 pages with excitement and the sad realization that I couldn’t keep up with books like Burgess’s nightmare of fiction creation hits me and I put it back and walk away. It is an innate fear that has been growing arms and legs within me. An entity walking around inside of me is spewing arrogant insults at me, all the while caressing and cajoling my deepest fears.

Mr. Danielewski is brilliant in the fact that it is a rare thing when a book can cause such a massive following the likes of the best and biggest of cults. It is up there in the ranks of Chuck Palahniuk’s massive hysteria and warranted admiration over Fight Club. A creation of fiction that changes the way individuals view the world around them and becomes part of pop culture history forevermore. Do most people know who Mark Danielewski is? I doubt it. And even though I haven’t found the guts to buy his book I admire him for the impact he has had on the inner workings of the fiction world. I am grateful for his contribution as well. I am sure he has paved the way and perhaps encouraged someone out there to write a book in the future that will be more widely embraced for its uniqueness.

The only other book that taunts me the way “House of Leaves” does is “Infinite Jest”. That bastard does the same thing to me when I see it. I take wicked joy in just picking it up, holding it, caressing its title and admiring David Foster Wallace for never losing interest in a story before finishing 1088 pages. I mean, write 1088 pages? I don’t even know if I could read 1088 pages. And whoever designed that cover, I just adore it.

I don’t know, but this is all a demon I battle and have yet to overcome. But I do know that there are all kinds of forums located at www.houseofleaves.com geared towards nothing but the discussion of “House of Leaves”. Maybe someday I’ll jaunt with full confidence right into the bookstore and calmly around the corner and pick up “House…” and walk with purpose and an assuredness that others can only hope for straight to the register and take that book home in my arms like a new baby hours old needing the attention of one so devoted that she will do nothing but devote her time and attention to the needs of said child until the child has reached fruition and her job has been completed.

Maybe someday I’ll just chuck out the cash and get the fuck over myself. Until then…may the fiction god’s give me strength.

Mr. Danielewski, you intrigue me and one day I will get to know your novel in more depth. I don’t want to die without doing so.

10:33 a.m. ::
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