Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Retro Comic

For my project I spent many, many hours going through old issues of The Leader. Here's this one comic that I, currently, didn't include in my project. 

This comic was published on April 22, 1966 and really sums up the attitude that students hard towards the Vietnam War, here's someone's pretty morbid sense of humor. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

House of Leaves Fan Art

Alright, so we've had enough time to deal with our post House of Leaves feelings. I was looking at some fan art of it to see how others digested it.

Here's what I found

Legos? I'd watch a stop motion video of that.

There are so many tattoos of this quote

And an actual tattoo!

Check out this totally trippy video. The video's description reads, "Recently recovered part of the Navidson Record."

I'd love to hear what everyone makes of these things! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Resume stuff! Yay!

Hey everyone, I know that we're going to be working on resume stuff soon and I just went over this with English Works so I figured I'd share the presentation I made for the last meeting.

Aside from this, there is some great material in the Career Development Office for this sort of thing; they have tons of suggestions on how to improve or design your resume, a list of action words to use so you sound accomplished (apparently a lot of them of scanned through programs to look for keywords so this is super helpful in making you sound good), and a bunch of stuff about cover letters, too. It's also really beneficial to make an appointment on their website and have them look over your resume because they'll tell you what you need to work on and what looks pretty vs. what doesn't. Also, they're really nice people so don't be afraid to ask for anything! I've made good friends with some of them already.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thar She Blows.OR whatever.

So I haven't gotten as far along in the book as I would've liked to by today.
But I'm getting there.
Perhaps it's because this book is


and I've had to sleep with my light on and windows open every night since I started reading it.

One thing that I'm getting more used to but that is still bothering me is reading the actual text.

 Then the footnotes.

Then back to the original text.

Not to mention the actually citation footnotes which in comparison are rather disappointing and quite frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

Which very well may be a page and a half footnote later.

It's interrupts my thought process.
                                                                    And the flow of my eyes.

One thing I love is the narrative voice of Johnny Truant. At first he bothered me because he sounds just like my friend Cameron. His voice as a narrator and Cam's voice as a person are nearly identical. Same cynicism marinated in marijuana and spirits, paranoia, and an overactive mind. Highly intelligent despite what I can only assume as a rather grungy appearance. If Cam came across the Navidson Records he would go just as insane analyzing them. Now Johnny's epic footnotes are some of my favorite passages. Perhaps it's because Johnny's language is as lax and blunt as my personal speech outside (and sometimes inside) the classroom. Or perhaps it's because I am imposing a face and a body onto Johnny Truant.
 I don't know.

What I do know is that I'm excited to keep reading.
Even if that means I have to keep the lights on.
Even if that means I have to keep making big strong boys sleep at my house because I was already petrified of the dark and the things that move in the dark before I started reading the book.
And of enclosing spaces. Thus the open windows
And just like the hallway, it's fucking freezing in here.

Things are getting stranger

Maybe my title is an understatement?

I think we have just embarked on where the strange gets stranger. Things start to get really weird on page 97:

We have a visual shift that we did not have in the text before. Of course, in our earlier readings, we had the dynamic between Zampano's writing, the annotations, and Johnny's personal annotations. Now we have sections broken up with small boxes. These sections even break when a sentence has unfinished or there is no need for a break. 

Another visual on this page that really gets me going is this one:

What is up with that check? I know it is printed into the book and nothing something a previous owner had scribbled on. Does this check mean, "yes, this book is about to get a whole lot more visually stimulating?" It bothers me, much more than the large boxes we encounter at the end of out readings. It is such a strange and almost insignificant thing to be bothered by. 

On the following page, page 98, for annotation number 110, Johnny writes "There's something weird going on here, as if Zampano can't quite make us his mind whether this is all an exploration or a war." In the first half of this quote, I felt as if Johnny and I really had a connection. When I was reading it, I was thinking, "yeah, Johnny things are getting real strange." However, he is bothered by the actual meat of the text, if you will, rather than it's jarring visual dynamic (I'm thinking about you check mark).

Not far after, on page 100, we get introduced to a new layout:

This page has multiple short sections with small boxes in the blank spaces, where some of the boxes are blank or blackened. Furthermore, several of these sections cut off even if the sentence is not finished. 

The last thing that made me want to yell out "oh my god" is something that Johnny is talking about in his personal annotation which is on the final line of page 106. Thumper told Johnny that, "If you want my opinion, you just need to get out of the house." I feel so jittery just writing about this. What she said made me think about what is going on in the house that Zampano is talking about in his section of the book. During this part of the book, things seem to take a horror story turn where the men are going deeper into that house and I just want to tell them to get out of it! You can feel the badness that will come from it. Getting out of the house does not seem to be so easy. 

House of Leaves- ????

I was sick this past Thursday and missed class, which I'm regretting more and more the deeper I read into House of Leaves. To be honest, I'm quite lost and craving some class discussion. After finishing this blog post I'll read through every else's and hopefully make sense of what I've been reading!

My thoughts thus far revolve mainly around the relationship between Zampano' and Johnny. Johnny increasingly becomes a less reliable narrator as his violent hallucinations take over, while Zampano' seems a bit more reliable. But how reliable? Something I've been considering is how Johnny and Lude's description of Zampano' conflicts with the narration Zampano's provides once he enters the book. A blind man that wanders around a courtyard and dies alone is an identity that doesn't quite fit with the prolific writings that Johnny becomes obsessed with.

Trying to map out a timeline of the multiple stories has both helped and complicated my reading. The Navidson Record occurs first, then Zampano's reading, then Zampano's death, then Johnny's narration, but even his narration is broken across time. But before The Navidson Record, "The Five and a Half Minute Hallway" was released, then "Exploration #4," and finally The Navisdon Record. (Am I getting this right??) The fractured timeline we are presented with mirrors how the story is physically told on the page; Zampano's writings and footnotes depicting The Navidson Project (presumably in a linear fashion?) becomes slowly tangental, breaking off into Zampano's research and analysis of the film. Underneath all of this Johnny's own analysis and mental deterioration are typed.

Mark Z. Danielewski does an incredible job of having Zampano' explicitly analyzing the film and then having Johnny affected by this in his daily life without realizing it. Many times this daily application conflicts with Zampano's analysis. For example, when Zampano' details both the mythical and physical aspects of an echo, Johnny is dealing with the echoes of Thumper, the stripper from the tattoo parlor, and how those echoes are interfering with his present day life. We as readers are left to connect Zampano's writings and see the consequence Johnny's mental state is dealing with. In this instance, When considering echoes, Johnny cannot help but ask "what about light?, all of which made sense to me at a certaub hour before midnight or at least came close to making sense" (50). Zampano's constant points about darkness are counterpointed with Johnny's search for light. Moreover, as Johnny reads deeper into Zampano's text, his handle on reality loosens.

My thoughts thus far are not very complete, I know, but I'm working through them. Look out for a possible blog post from me over break, because writing my thoughts usually helps me connect them.

The Familiar and the Un-Familiar: Making You Think About the Way We Read

So I love, love, love this book! It took me a bit but I loved the format changes (other than the killing of the tress (the poor trees)) after I realized some strategies on how to read them. What I do first is read the section, just for reading sakes, to enjoy the story and enjoy the silliness of the format. After I read the section I set the book down, take some ibphrofane and think about what made me uncomfortable.
Looking at the sections that made me uncomfortable I ask myself, why? Why does this give me a headache? Why am does this make me so uncomfortable? The answer seems to always be that I am not used to the format, that is book goes against everything I have learned since I started reading. This isn't a mistake by the author, he intends to make you uncomfortable. He intends to make us as readers question what we consider the rules of reading to be and what a book makes up in total. This could be seen as pretentious, that a writer believes he has such a firm grasp on writing and that  a normal narrative is boring to him, but I don't think that this is the case with book. I think it's a mixture of fun for the author as well as a chance to make the reader feel uncomfortable. The discomfort makes us pause and look critically at books format and how we read.
One of the things that the author plays with is authorial power and legitimacy. The term "author" has significant weight and power that goes along with it. "Published" itself has some loftiness to it, especially when it comes to undergraduate college students. Individuals who are "authors"  do have a certain amount of authority given to them, that they are the experts on a certain subject, especially on the subject they are writing on. Therefore footnotes and explanations are often trusted, wither its truthful or not. Mark points this out in his own footnotes are untruthful, that he makes up information or that the footnotes themselves truly mean nothing to the story. This makes us question other authors and published works.
The second thing that the author plays with is narrator. We as readers give certain trust to the narrator to give us information a timely fashion, not to interrupt the flow of the story (especially in a framed narrative) and to keep side stories in check. We often have a unreliable narrator (One example being The Murder of Roger Ackyord) but there is always a truthful narrator somewhere in the mix. In this story we are given not one but three unreliable narrators. One is a crazy dead man, another a criminal and the third is an editor, not a very trustworthy bunch. So after reading this book I read something I am reading for pleasure, "Aesop's Fables". I found myself questions the narrator and wondering who exactly was speaking to me; the editor, the crazy dead man, or the criminal.
I love that this book is making me look at expected english truths critically, especially in my senior english class.