Veins of the Earth is a weird parallel to this. We even reference the same event from one of the same books (report of caves getting lost in a huge cavern from 'Underground Worlds'), so that's fun. You could consider VotE and HoL to almost be part of the same 'extended universe.(1b)
I have a distinct memory of going into Liverpool Library some time in the early 2000's, looking for Shakespeare, getting turned around and only being able to find the analysis of Shakespeare. The plays themselves were a hidden shelf, the analysis was a huge tumescent stack, book upon book upon book, heaving, like a cancer on the original. I thought then that there was something foul about a world in which the analysis of a thing could grow to such blathering immensity that it dwarfed the original.
There is something monstrous about writing (2) - and in writing about writing the monstrous nature becomes more clear.
It's like a vampire + you can see it clearly in the mirror of itself.
And a mirror cannot create meaning.
I read this book too late (3) and put too many breaks (4) in between.
I was pretty scared of parts to begin with(4b). I read it at night alone in a small silent room surrounded only by house noises. Something behind my wardrobe moved and I froze. (It was probably cardboard I stashed back there expanding in the heat after the heat was cranked up, (I still haven't looked to check though)). The suggestions were more scary than the events. The textural dicking around I found fun + silly-scary, like ooga-booga scary. (That's more the Man Attacked By Corridor stuff).
I've come to think that some horror stories are Normality Stories. 1 strong + important element of the counterpoint is that creation of normalcy before the scary happens. If you have good normal you feel it when it breaks.
Maybe a lot of stories (5) have these parts at the beginning - before the 'story' starts, so they can make the story story.
whooo its a fractal reality
_what is real_ whoooo (6)
Ok, that's facetious and unfair. It's a good book + notable achievement, worthy of its praise.
I don't know what you would write after writing this
"Look Dad, I deconstructed a genre!"
"Ok son, but what will you do with it now?"
3-Panel comic found in #postmodernistmistakes twitter feed.
Some cool mysteries - who was Zampado was he the Brother or someone? Did J Truant turn superevil at the end (the real monster was you!) Do the 'good guys' win? (Win in the lovecraftian sense of binding the predatory metareality into a book?) On one hand my airing cupbaord is still a normal size, on the other see aforementioned reality decay. Which is the _true_ ending?
At a certain point in the layering you work out that there is no actual answer. Then its just like 'oh. ok.'
And thats the problem with hinting.
(Traditionally, you need a woman to end the adventure. men can do stuff but they are not allowed to stop until a woman lets them.)
Like the fairness of a horror movie or a post-McDowall D&D trap.
R U gonna scare me of kill me?
+ if you are really here to scare me - why should I be scared?
+ if to kill me, why haven't you done it?
Its uncertain. But if your power comes from uncertainty then it can certainly be banished the moment anything certain is known. The half-life of fear - deadly for a dreams width(9).
I prefer the happy ending (+ the certain one).
(The poetry section in the appendix, the in-character poetry, is really really bad. It's the only part I couldn't get through. I am not sure if it was meant to be like that.)
THERE IS ALSO A GIANT SNAIL.
1 - But I didn't edit this before posting it, which has the same effect but is cheaper.
1b - I mean I literally have Scraps drawings of infinite darkness/finality as a monster and Daniels Navarchs of Nox on my wall watching over me. So when this turns up I'm like;
"Oh, you like infinite space son?
You like yourself some literalised metaphor monsters?
You into those themes of madness ey?
Sure son, you done good. Reeeeeeaaal good."
>Chews cigar, rocks back on heels, wipes engine grease from hands w rag.(7)<
2 - About textural analysis, the volume and deadening nature of the lists and quotes. Little invisible scars of thought adding up and adding up - evening out to nothing.
3 - Should have read it in my 20's.
4 - I am poorly minded for this - not willing to give it what it needs to affect me. (Nothing given, nothing gained.)
4b - But then I had a long break, allowing all the micro-relations that power the book to fade, and began reading again, mainly in the morning or in the Library (10) surrounded by people - not a fearful place, usually.
5 - Genre stories.
6 - The inferences in the mothers letter were good. The suggestion of a metatextual reality-monster existing across planes of existence was more scary that it actually turning up. (If it really turned up.) The relentless parental abandonment was painful + effective to read.
7 - I should scrawl some weird shit in my copy and leave it on a train, or in airport seat (8)
8 - Strangely enough, my copy was water damaged while I carried it around in my backpack, searching Liverpool in a downpour for a DVD of the film Labyrinth to do research for a possible job. I could not find the DVD anywhere and the job itself never happened. Mazes within mazes.
9 - + that fear itself must always be in a state of decay and has a half-life, an oddly encouraging thought.
10 - Liverpool Library Reading Room is a living experiment in human self-awareness, stupidity and narcissism. Everything anyone whispers carries fully around the entire room and the extent and volume of someone’s speech on entering gives you a nice neat graph of how aware they are of their environment, themselves and their effect on others. It ranges from the genuinely stupid who never catch on, the blunt tourist who wanders in as part of a pack and says stuff like "ISN'T IT GREAT. ITS REALLY SOMETHING". The no-fucks dumb/nasty combo scally who goes there to make phone calls or creep on people. The should-know better who finds it too loud to make a fucking phone call in the library so ducks inside the FUCKING READING ROOM etc etc. The strange thing is that even though everyone in the reading room can hear everyone in the reading room, and we are all necessarily irritated by the same things, not one of us EVER speaks up. We are like members of a strange temporary cult with powerful self-generated unwritten rules. Once I ate a complex sandwich in there at length and I regret that now.
Unrelated to the above;
People who bought Golden Duck. Did you find it worth it?
Does anyone want to buy Golden Duck at Dragonmeet (may do a reprint)
Is it even legal to sell Golden Duck out of my bag at Dragonmeet?