Thursday, 15 November 2018

MAN ATTACKED BY CORRIDOR - a Review of House of Leaves

I'm not doing a 'Blog of Leaves' review where I mirror the structure of the book because that would be a crazy amount of work (1). (If someone hasn't done a Youtube thing where they read House of Leaves chapter by chapter and things Go Horribly Wrong then I'm surprised. Why not? (Internet link structures a modern reality decay are pretty much the House of Leaves anyway.))

..............

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.

............

The Layering;

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?"

>AWSHUCKS DUMBFACE<

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.

ODD 

(p_-)






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?

10 comments:

  1. If you bring golden duck to sell, I will buy golden duck. Food or zine, it matters little.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello my name is Lauren i'm from USA i want to testify of a great and powerful spell caster my husband left me and the kids for 2 weeks when i called him he didn't pick up when he came back home the 3rd week he told me he wanted a divorce i was so sad i cried all night he left again i was so lonely the next day i was searching for something online when i found a spell caster called Priest Ade who have helped so many people with their problems so i contacted him with my problems he told me it will take 24hrs and my husband will be back to me i did every thing he told me to do and the next day my husband came back kneeling and begging he canceled the divorce we are now happy together Priest Ade can help you too Email him at

      ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

      https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com

      Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

      WhatsApp +2347059715465




      Hello my name is Lauren i'm from USA i want to testify of a great and powerful spell caster my husband left me and the kids for 2 weeks when i called him he didn't pick up when he came back home the 3rd week he told me he wanted a divorce i was so sad i cried all night he left again i was so lonely the next day i was searching for something online when i found a spell caster called Priest Ade who have helped so many people with their problems so i contacted him with my problems he told me it will take 24hrs and my husband will be back to me i did every thing he told me to do and the next day my husband came back kneeling and begging he canceled the divorce we are now happy together Priest Ade can help you too Email him at

      ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

      https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com

      Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

      WhatsApp +2347059715465




      Hello my name is Lauren i'm from USA i want to testify of a great and powerful spell caster my husband left me and the kids for 2 weeks when i called him he didn't pick up when he came back home the 3rd week he told me he wanted a divorce i was so sad i cried all night he left again i was so lonely the next day i was searching for something online when i found a spell caster called Priest Ade who have helped so many people with their problems so i contacted him with my problems he told me it will take 24hrs and my husband will be back to me i did every thing he told me to do and the next day my husband came back kneeling and begging he canceled the divorce we are now happy together Priest Ade can help you too Email him at

      ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

      https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com

      Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

      WhatsApp +2347059715465


      Delete
  2. "Like the fairness of a horror movie or a post-McDowall D&D trap."

    Would you mind to elaborate? I don't know what it means but sounds intriguing, the kind of stuff I put into my campaign to make it weirder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Chris McDowall is a game designer, creator of Into the Odd. His theory or process on traps is that they should always be discoverable with reasonable observation. (I ope I haven't mis-stated his opinion). I _think_ I probably disagree with this but have not put in enough thought or attention to shape a clear argument.

      If you want to find out more about Chris, you can get his blog here http://www.bastionland.com/

      Delete
    2. Thank you. I haven't read Into the Odd but I have it in my to-read list. Thank you.

      Delete
  3. Bought Golden Duck. Arrived today, so bravo to the US/UK mail system interaction. Totally worth it, will include in my next game. Sits very weirdly on my shelf next to VotE. Will probably buy more things if you sell them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read it in my early 20s alone at night in a quiet room and I can tell you the experience was fantastic. One of my most memorable book-reading experiences full-stop. It took two nights but the wait for the second night added a lot of anticipation and great sense of returning to the reality/unreality.

    Responding to 9, if fear of things is transient* and always decreasing, then how might that affect horror games? There always must be something unknown, keep shifting goalposts or end the damn thing. Is agency possible in those games?

    *Anxiety, gnawing fear that never quite decreases. AFAICT not gameable.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I read it one dull Summer day. The authorial effort required to lure one into the nagging suspicion that this book might actually, genuinely BE some kind of King In Yellow/Lovecraft evil tome, was not wasted on me. Upon finishing, JFs mother's letters and poems included, I sprinted up Stockport Road in a kind ofeuphoric panic... the infinite had been touched and it was... dark! The horror, the horror...

    I was 24 years old. Good day.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bought and used Golden Duck, review forthcoming.

    ReplyDelete