Thursday, April 9, 2009

Final Project Proposal

For my final project, I would like to expand on the content in Danielewski's House of Leaves. I was inspired by Erica's paper on Dada, and it got me thinking more about the correlation between the two. One aspect that Erica didn't touch on was the Dada game called "Exquisite Corpse." This game was played by a group of people, the first writing down a word on a single sheet of paper. This word would be seen by the next person, who would then write down a word to continue the sentence. This second person would fold over the piece of paper to cover the first word so that only his or her word was showing for the next in line. The paper is passed around until everybody has written down a word to complete a sentence. The sentence would then be read at the end.

Surrealists also adapted this game in the form of images. Instead of using words, each person would draw part of an image, with the rest of the group continuing the picture. Given the compound use of text and graphics, and also graphics made from text House of Leaves is the perfect book to combine both the Dada and Surrealists games.

In terms of the project itself, I plan on going through the entire text of House and locating each "house" every time it appears in blue. On the page opposite, there will be a word that "house" will be overlapping on the overleaf. I will write down all of these words and see if the resulting text commands anything that is cohesive. I can also go through and strike out certain words to make a cohesive group of new test. Finally, I plan on typing and cutting each word out and putting them into a hat, rearranging them to make a Dada poem.

The result of these will be at least three different texts, all stemming from the same group of words. This reflects on the work of Zampano, Johnny's explanation and interpretation of Zampano's text, and also the narrative of the Navidson Records. All three are relative as well as interrelated and are combine to make a cohesive body of work.


Adam Johns said...

This is a really interesting idea, and my initial response is simply to say "do it!"

My second, more measured response, is to suggest that you include a short essay *about* the experience, perhaps reflecting further, in an intellectual way, on Dada and the novel. If your Dada game produces great results, it might not take much of an essay; conversely, if you're not that crazy about the results, you might spend more time on the essay.

It's a really cool idea - you just want to make sure that it includes at least an aspect of argument, ultimately.

Marika said...

Awesome! I am glad that you like this proposal.

Some suggestions given to me in class about it were to explain Dada and Surrealism a bit, moreso about what goals each movement aimed to achieve. It was also suggested to explain in more detail about the game.

I also thought of another idea for this as well, which I believe ties in.
When I was reading House of Leaves, I put brackets around certain sentences and passages that I liked or thought had certain significance to myself. I could possibly arrange all of these texts together as well, arguing that while they may have significance to me, in the overall book, they do not mean anything. I also wanted to relate this to the series of empty brackets that appear later in the book, as well as the brackets full of Xs. Let me know what you think