Thursday, April 3, 2008

Formal Post- Henzy

The part of the book which I chose to analyze may not stand out to most people but seems applicable to understanding the book as a whole.

Especially since everyone entering there finds a vision almost completely- though pointedly not completely- different from anyone else’s? Even Michael Leonard, who had never heard of Navidson’s house, professed a belief in the “psychological dimensions of space.” Leonard claimed people create a “sensation of space” where the final result “in the perceptual process is a single sensation- a ‘feeling’ about that particular place…”

This passage takes place in two short snippets on two different pages as most passages do in this section of the book. In one sense the quick page turning adds a clear delineation between thoughts and adds a cool and unique flow to reading, but in another sense it can get confusing and makes some sections feel distant and choppy. The first part of the passage reminds me of a passage earlier on in the book where he refers to how to read the book. He says something along the lines of read what you want and interpret it however you want. This means that everyone for the most part will take away a different feeling and emotion from the book. One reader may have a different reaction than another and Danielewski says that he almost likes it that way. The passage refers to Navidson’s house and how it seems to be baffling everyone’s minds. How something can be so strange and not be explained by far out thinkers or science. How can something be “unshaped” by human perceptions. He says that everyone that looks into it takes something different from it that is completely different then the previous.

I think that this concept is important to keep in mind when reading and analyzing this book because although many people have interpreted and analyzed the book before every reader has a unique and possible new way of looking at something or interpreting what they are reading. As the author clearly explained there are a lot of hidden things in the book that are up for interpretation and which really mold the way the book is read so everyone will have a different experience.

The second part of this passage explains the theory of “psychological dimensions of space.” This concept seems to play an important role in many sections of the following pages. The dark hall seems to be never ending and have no known dimensions. They spend countless hours on multiple explorations trying to determine these factors. They keep trying to describe the walls of the hall and the stairs and what the whole thing looks like all together but they can never piece together all the information to create a clear cut image. They are only relying on that they perceive the place to look like.

I think that we use this psychological perception a lot more often then we think in our daily lives. How often have you had the feeling that you are being watched? How often have you sensed that someone is behind you? Have you ever heard that a white room is perceived as bigger then a black room? I think there are many things that run through out mind when it draws out an image of a room we are in. I bet if you walked into the Hillman Library for the first time blindfolded you would be able to tell that it is an expansive room with many areas for students to sit. You would be able to tell this by hearing all the voices and sensing the size of the room. If you sit in an empty dark auditorium it feels completely different then if you sit in an empty dark closet. Somehow your mind is able to perceive the environment that you are in.

The book describes the struggle to be the first to be able to describe the area they are studying and publish some great literary work. They want to be famous for finding this new great discovery and telling what it is like. This passage although at first glance may not seem like much gives good insight into how Danielewski thinks.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

Your second to last paragraph is really striking and imaginative. Up until this point, your post is interesting and reasonably focused, but also rather conventional - there's nothing unexpected.

What changes in that paragraph, for me, is that you're focusing in on the idea not just that the House represents psychological space in some sense, but that we all experience space that way -- in other words, that Danielewski, in some perverse way, is accurately representing reality.

I like this post, but I would have liked it even better if you'd started with your really distinctive insight and continued on from that...