Mark Z. Danielewski

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Mark Z. Danielewski

Goodreads Author

in The United States



member since
May 2010

About this author

Mark Z. Danielewski is an American author. He is the son of Polish avant-garde film director Tad Danielewski and the brother of singer and songwriter Annie Decatur Danielewski, a.k.a. Poe.

Danielewski studied English Literature at Yale. He then decided to move to Berkeley, California, where he took a summer program in Latin at the University of California, Berkeley. He also spent time in Paris, preoccupied mostly with writing.

In the early 1990s, he pursued graduate studies at the USC School of Cinema-Television. He later served as an assistant editor and worked on sound for Derrida, a documentary based on the life of the Algerian-born French literary critic and philosopher Jacques Derrida.

House of Leaves, Danielewski's first novel, has gaine...more

After a 13-year wait, HOUSE OF LEAVES is (finally!) getting a Spanish release (with translation by Javier Calvo, editing by Ana S. Pareja and layout by Robert Juan-Cantavella).

Thanks to a joint publishing effort between Alpha Decay and Pálido Fuego, LA CASA DE HOJAS will be released in Spain on Nov. 11, and will be available in Latin America in early 2014. Visit this page for more information:... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on October 30, 2013 15:50 • 378 views • Tags: danielewski, house-of-leaves, la-casa-de-hojas, mark-z-danielewski
Average rating: 4.06 · 54,950 ratings · 5,720 reviews · 6 distinct works · Similar authors
House of Leaves
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 50,663 ratings — published 2000 — 27 editions
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Only Revolutions
3.19 of 5 stars 3.19 avg rating — 3,257 ratings — published 2006 — 9 editions
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The Fifty Year Sword
3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 2,246 ratings — published 2005 — 9 editions
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The Whalestoe Letters
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 1,150 ratings — published 2000 — 4 editions
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We Dropped a Bomb on You: T...
5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2013
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The Poetics of Space
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 3,511 ratings — published 1957 — 22 editions
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More books by Mark Z. Danielewski…

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October 2012, Mark Z. Danielewski
"His Favorite Ghost Stories: The innovator in all things macabre selects five disturbing books just in time for the new release of his novel, The Fifty Year Sword." ...More

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Mark's Recent Updates

Mark Z. Danielewski wrote a new blog post
After a 13-year wait, HOUSE OF LEAVES is (finally!) getting a Spanish release (with translation by Javier Calvo, editing by Ana S. Pareja and layou... Read more of this blog post »
More of Mark's books…
“Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep. And when at last it is over, there is no evidence: no weapon, no blood, and no body. The only clue might be the shadows beneath your eyes or a terribly thin line near the corner of your mouth indicating something has been suffered, that in the privacy of your life you have lost something and the loss is too empty to share.”
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

“Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.”
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

“This much I'm certain of: it doesn't happen immediately. You'll finish [the book] and that will be that, until a moment will come, maybe in a month, maybe a year, maybe even several years. You'll be sick or feeling troubled or deeply in love or quietly uncertain or even content for the first time in your life. It won't matter. Out of the blue, beyond any cause you can trace, you'll suddenly realize things are not how you perceived them to be at all. For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You'll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you'll realize it's always been shifting, like a shimmer of sorts, a vast shimmer, only dark like a room. But you won't understand why or how. You'll have forgotten what granted you this awareness in the first place


You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You'll care only about the darkness and you'll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you're some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you'll be afraid to look away, you'll be afraid to sleep.

Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you've got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name.

And then the nightmares will begin.”
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves


Well, we arrived at a three way tie in the vote for our March read so it's time for a run-off poll. This poll will only be open for a little over two days so be sure to get your vote in. Last day to vote will be Tuesday, February 21.

  4 votes, 44.4%

  3 votes, 33.3%

  2 votes, 22.2%


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