House of Leaves House of Leaves discussion


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message 1: by Sheila (last edited Oct 25, 2012 09:12AM) (new) - added it

Sheila Just for kicks I picked up this book again the other day and just started reading where it fell open (my usual method of re-reading). Saw something I don't remember having noticed on the first read.

During Navidson's last journey into the house as he finds himself unable to act in any way against the darkness, with his last remaining light, he takes out the one book he has in his possession and begins to read (pg. 465).

The book he's reading? House Of Leaves.

If anything about this book means anything, I'm wondering if this means something. :)


Casey I absolutely loved that part. I think that that's the reason that the book was titled House of Leaves, which is kind of weird to think about: a book being named after a book.


message 3: by Sheila (last edited Oct 26, 2012 04:41AM) (new) - added it

Sheila Yeah. That's one of my theories, the book named after a book, but that leaves me trying to figure out WHY. What about Navidson's book, and his situation, would lend itself to having THIS story named after it... are there any clues?

My other theory (maybe not TOO implausible, given the general weirdness of the whole thing) is that Navidson is reading the same story that we, the reader, are reading. Making it a never-ending story, sort of. He's reading about Zampano and Johnny and the house. Heck, maybe he's reading it to find out the end to his own story....

It just kind of made me think of a hall of mirrors.


Marc Nash it's a work of fiction about a fictitious film that never really got made (yet has demanded many academic treatises & footnotes - themselves largely fictitious) narrated by a guy who's editing/ordering the notes & exegesis of another guy (who's dead) which were written about a film that doesn't exist... Yeah, Hall of Mirrors is a good term for it!

Leaves of a book I was thinking


message 5: by Sheila (last edited Oct 26, 2012 05:45AM) (new) - added it

Sheila What do you do when you're a person who has (in your own mind, anyway) a wealth of wisdom to share and no one to share it with, no progeny of your own? You think you know a whole bunch of stuff - how do you make it important enough to someone to make them want to sit down and wade through the years of YOUR experience and the things YOU'VE learned?

You fake it. You fake a storyline, you invoke a few famous names, names that people know and respect, and attribute some quotes to them about your fake storyline.

That, to me, is the essence of Zampano's character, and why the "legend" of the Navidon films was created. It's also why there's so many things in his writing that seem to go nowhere. He thinks he has to get them out, to inform someone, anyone, about the things he knows.

...Excuse me, Marc. This answer is partially a reply to the other recent HOL thread, about the apparent misquotes in the book. For some reason I (erroneously) thought you had raised that question. :)


Marc Nash It's also instructive to me that Zampano is writing a critical exegesis of a film when he himself is blind! Again just reinforcing the fictive nature of everything.


message 7: by Sheila (last edited Oct 26, 2012 05:57AM) (new) - added it

Sheila He was blinded in a war, right? I wonder if there's any significance in the fact that he once had sight, then...

Also wondering, are there any deeper truths, any value, to be found in all of Zampano's fictional accounts... I think that Johnny found something in it.


Marc Nash Sheila wrote: "He was blinded in a war, right? I wonder if there's any significance in the fact that he once had sight, then...

Also wondering, are there any deeper truths, any value, to be found in all of Zamp..."


Johnny is certainly possessed by something while he's working on the book. A similar distortion and warping of physical space as the House itself.


message 9: by Sheila (last edited Oct 26, 2012 08:49AM) (new) - added it

Sheila ...I always assumed the title of the book House of Leaves was meant to be synonomous with "house of cards". The illusion of stability collapses.

Just thinking. Can we attribute Johnny's mental destabilization as just coinciding with his work on Zampano's notes, or a result of it?

I always attributed it to the schizophrenia that he has most likely inherited from his mother, and in the metaphor of the house he catches a glimpse of his own world collapsing and become something scary and unrecognizable.


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