Tuesday, November 25, 2014

House of Leave: a special experience.

     I have to say House of Leave is an “interesting” book, but not a page-turner. I used almost two weeks to figure out what this book really wants to express. It is hard to say it belong to any kind of type. In the beginning I thought it is a book combined fantasy and panic, but in the end I changed my mind --- it is a book belong to religion. Although there is no words connected with god and faith, but there are some key words, such as brave, love, and belief, made me thinking about the relationship between House of Leave and god. The main interpreter in the book always introduced some thoughts, and said it is mentioned in somebody interview someone. But like other interpreter B said that those bibliographies and footnotes did not exists. Meanwhile, there are signs that Interpreter B is also an irresponsible man; he always adds or deletes words in the book. Combine with those strange typesetting and tanglesome description, I feel confused most of time during my reading process. I have to say I have no interest with this intermittent style. There are also no special suspense and adorable roles in the book. The only thing I can come up with is also some on and off feelings.  
       It contains so many things. From the portrait photography to capture darkness; from madhouse to Greek mythology; from death to the mother’s letter, etc. All these things sounds like some crazy stuff for me in the beginning, but it is just interesting to think about it. I scared of darkness when I was young. When I read this book, I feel fear frequently. But the fear is not the deepest mood in my mind, sadness and helplessness are. Sometimes I keep the light on, but the darkness, just everywhere. It made me remembered those times I played with my friends till night when I was a child, and I cannot see the way to go back to home. The despair inside me was boiling in a moment, and unable to stop the time lapse caused the infinite helpless feeling. Although I cannot catch up those feelings repeatedly when I grow up, I feel it when I read this book. Those letters that mother send from madhouse also a really conflicted thing for me. On one hand, it made me scared and cold sometimes; on other hand, those delicate emotion and beautiful sentences in the letters made me feel the motherhood inside my heart.
     Mark Z. Danielewski used an experimental way to write such a complicated book. He tries very hard applying postmodern technique, such as meta narrative, into several stories. I do not think it is a good literature novel, but it is a special reading experience. It brought me some new idea about reading and writing. Sometimes I feel I limit myself into a box, Danielewski open that box and leading me to the outside. So I write those feelings about this book.

1 comment:

  1. The good development here is that your mechanics have improved - there are far fewer errors, and your prose is considerably more direct that it has been. Continue that with your final project!

    The issue with it as an essay is that it not only doesn't really have a clear argument, but it doesn't work directly with any part of Danielewski's text. If your'e struggling to come up with a clear argument, you are in even greater (never lesser) need of focusing on some particular moment or idea in the text. If it's difficult to work with, there's no better way of dealing with that difficulty than beginning with a problem or a question in the text. Focusing on how the book relates to religion is a fine idea, but you can't do that without narrowing in on a passage, or a set of passages, which open up the problem of religion within the book. When in difficulty, simply start with the text, and work from the text to an argument - starting with generalizations rarely does much good.