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.