Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Muss es sein? (informal blog)

After sieving through this book for hours and finding nothing understandable, I decided to retreat, return to the beginning and start afresh. This book is witty and unconventional in its style and manner of narrative. The title house of leaves, is a reference to the book as the house and the leaves which are the pages, an anthology of Zampano's manuscripts.

In trying to bridge the gaps in this narrative, I am proposing that the fictional frame narrative of the Navidson Record is an account of the book itself, and the audience's perception of it from the Authors point of view. The Author often makes subtle references to the academic critics and the belief that they have an understanding of this material despite its diversity and nonconformity.

Agreeably, you don’t have to read much of the book to dive into the confusion. Assessing the opening German phrase from Beethoven "muss es sein?" which means "must it be?” Danielwski introduces us to the confusing, satirical, and criticizing beginning of his novel. This phase immediately forces the reader to begin questioning whether the writing style and narrative had to be so complex.

Must it be this way? Does it have to be so complex? This is the question the Author was sure we'll ask so he presented us with it prior to our inquisition. Despite the requests that readers take the text literally, it is hard to ignore the style in which it’s written and presented.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

Beginning with "muss es sein" is a perfectly good idea, but you're not really responding to the particular passage (which is what the prompt calls for) but to the book as a whole. Surely the book as a whole is confusing, and surely many particular passages are confusing as well - but the point to picking out one supremely difficult passage and working with it is to demonstrate that there are ways to approach the book which are productive, whether or not we ultimately understand large parts of it clearly or not.