Thursday, April 3, 2008

Formal blog

pg. 166: "The epistemology of the house remains entirely commensurate with its size. After all, one always approaches the unknown with grater caution the first time around. Thus it appears far more expansive than it literally is. Knowledge of the terrain on a second visit dramatically contracts this sense of distance. Who has never gone for a walk through some unfamiliar park and felt that it was huge, only to return a second time to discover that the park is in fact much smaller than initially perceived?"

I think this quote examines the misperceptions we have from our preliminary observations. Our weight of complexity is place on thing is often judged by our sight. As the introductory quote states “the sequence of spatial entities have been pre-determined by the architectural structuring of that space...” this is have been prevalent through the course of the book, the issues of the closet and the structural lay out of the house in The Navidson Record have been addressed through the lens of what we expect from a architectural stand point. This quote is challenging that view.

Progressively we have gotten a better understanding of the structural lay of this labyrinth through the continuous efforts of Will, Reston, Holloway and Tom to answer the oddities of the house as they journey through the spiral staircase. Just to put another spin on this, and important connection was made to Chapter three in this passage, with reference to the house reflecting the psychology and mental state of anyone who enters it, I imagine this refers to the preconceptions that often use to assess situations. Our mental state as we enter the house of leaves and even those of the characters within the book. So our first trip provides a foundational knowledge which in turn allows us to pay a second visit to the issue with that have proved challenging.

So how does this play in the house of leaves as a whole? The complexity of the novel lies in the disorganized fragments of Zampanons manuscript which Johnny has been putting together so far. The ‘architectural’ structure of the story has been fragmented thus far. Now having been through it once, we gotten an idea that allows us to revisit the book with a much in depth understanding than we amassed in the begining.

However after writing this I am beginning to wonder why Danielewski would put this in the middle of the book, am not sure if it does or doesn’t have any significance.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

The theme of misperceptions which you're interested in here certainly relates most directly to sight. Just like Zampano is more reliable as a film critic because he's blind (and therefore can't be tricked by digital manipulation), he's perhaps less subject to the illusion of the park's great size (or maybe not - maybe I'm off base here).

The fluidity of the house's architecture is important, and you begin to address it in interesting ways here. I feel like this part of the post could have been expanded - how does this quote about the house and epistemology (theory of knowledge) relate to the material in chapter three to which you refer?