Thursday, November 21, 2013

Project Proposal

Project Proposal 
 I feel as though it would be wrong to leave this class without doing an in-depth paper on House of Leaves. That being said, I almost feel as though it would be antithetical to the book if one were to do an academic analysis of a book that is, at least arguably, mocking academic analysis (maybe that that could be the main argument, or at least part of it. It is at least easy to come up with ideas for a paper on the topic).
 That being said, I also loved Jimmy Corrigan and I would like to re-explore the text in the context of a paper. Ideas the come to minds for it include using the backdrop of the World’s Fair in the father’s story to look at the idea of progress throughout the novel. Examples could include Jimmy’s progression through meeting his family mirroring the idea that the fantastic promises of the World’s Fair are often quite different than the reality metaphorically standing for the idea that meeting your family can be quite a let-down in real life. This would draw specifically to the pages where Jimmy imagines his pseudo-incestual relationship with Amy leading to the page where she rejects holding his hand, the pages where James is orphaned and the page describing the businesses in the town.
To return to House of Leaves, the theoretical works by Heidegger seem to compliment the book nicely – questioning the nature of ‘being’ especially in regards to the impossibility of the house. Marcuse can also offer some interesting ideas, namely the house’s rejection of technology (the Great Refusal) coupled with Navidson’s dependency on it (this can break down into real vs. false needs and art [it’s about a ‘film’]). Theoretical work for Jimmy could include Marcuse’s ideas about the nature of art – namely, how do the aesthetics of Jimmy relate to the content, and are they capable of showing the Truth that Marcuse is so obsessed with?
The bibliography would look something like this:
Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. New York: Harper, 1962. Print.
See above for explanations of how this will be used
Marcuse, Herbert. One Dimensional Man. London: Sphere, 1968. Print.
See above for explanations of how this will be used
Middleton, Robin, and David Watkin. Neoclassical and 19th Century Architecture. New York:
Electa/Rizzoli, 1987. Print.
To examine the artwork of Jimmy in the context of the architectural style of the World’s Fair
Neuburger, Mary. "To Chicago and Back: Aleko Konstantinov, Rose Oil, and the Smell of
Modernity." Slavic Review 65.3 (2006): n. pag. Web.
            To explore the ideas of progress that the World’s fair would represent
Not an actual citation, but using this essay:

This would be used to further explore some themes in House of Leaves

1 comment:

Adam said...

This is vague enough that my responses are, of necessity, short.

It's up to you, of course, but my reading of HOL is that it satirizes academia (primarily philosophy and literary criticism) more or less from the inside: Danielewski might mock Heidegger, but he also gets tremendous mileage out of Heidegger. Thus, I think your first paragraph isn't very interesting, but that your second and third sketch out some useful but broad ideas.

Heidegger is a great place to start - I'd probably recommend you read *The Introduction to Metaphysics* or "The Question Concerning Technology" first, before trying to tackle even part of *Being and Time*. I think you're capable of it, but it's a lot to bite off.

Your Jimmy Corrigan ideas are good but hardly detailed.

This is definitely more of a pre-proposal than a proposal, but it shows some promise as suh.