Chapter I analysis: The Film
“…hanging whole above the gates of such schools as Architectonics…” I have no idea what most of these are so here’s some info:
Architectonics – the principles of architecture(?)
popomo – short for post-modernism
consequentialism – the ethical philosophy that the consequences of an action are the ultimate judge for the action it self omitting the intent of the actor. Opposite of the school of Deontologicalism (however, as it seems to go with every thing in philosophy, their mutually exclusive status is up for debate).
neo-Plasticism – rather abstract movement in furniture design. Reminds me of an abstract approach to minimalism with colour constraints. I’m pretty sure this stuff is still pretty chic.
phenomenology – a increasingly defunct school of thought (with the break through in neurology) that tries to tackle the subjects of consciousness and perception through empirical thought exercises on ontology.
information theory – the closest summary to this theory is that it’s the unifying theory among mathematics and sciences which seeks to inmate human judgment.
marxism – Socialist/communist cornerstone. Basically Marxists believe that as humanity grows, captitalism will become a defunct and inefficient system that will need to evolve into a socialist system then ultimately communist. It almost sounds like a guy (communism) trying to convince his girlfriend (capitalism) that a three way is in every ones benefit (socialism) in a first step towards converting her to being a swinger (communism).
biosemiotics – this is pretty over my head but here’s a try: Approaching biology in a way that can be broken down into universal signs rather than cultural/special specific expressions.
Conveniently, this list is encompasses a good starting point for ideas and theories to keep in mind while reading this book.
“…focuses on a doorway on the north wall of his living room…” the position of this door way changes several times through the book. It goes from north to east to south and back to north. (it may occur on the east as well. I’ll take note of the positions as I work my way through and update this at a later point.)
For those of you who want a visual reference for what’s going on in this scene (because it took me a while to fully visualize what was being gotten at) here’s a diagram:
West Window——-| door | ——- Window East
This is the first part where Johnny will interject and explain/interpret or translate something for us. It’s approiate that his first footnote is translating the quote “Dinanzi a me non fuor cose create…” as this page marks his and our entrance into the hell that is encompassed in this house.
So this is an interesting footnote to address. Here we’re introduced to another set of characters and another layer of this story.
On the ground level we have Zampano, the original author of the book. His is the primary voice we hear/read through out the book. In the cannon of the book, we are shown plenty but not conclusive evidence that the Navidson Record does not exist so given this I’m not counting Navidson’s “voice” as a layer since (as of now, I’m holding final judgment until after I finish this project) we’re assuming Zampano created the movie that he “transcribed”.
Zampano’s voice is the split into two layers. We have the transcribed actions of the Navidson Record and everything else which includes the strike through parts, the footnotes which Zampano used to supplement his analysis of this documentary, the coloured words such as house, and the red strike through parts or Minotaur parts (you’ll see all of this if you followed my recommendation of using the Full Colour Remastered Edition of HoL).
Next removed is Johnny’s voice. His is a bit more transparent because as he is the one whom is taking all the notes and narrative bits he found in Zampano’s apartment and composing them into the book we have here. His voice is also split into two layers: the composition of the work and his footnotes. The most obvious of the two is his interjections via footnotes which are later used as his medium to tell his own story but the more subtle layer is how he chooses to transcribe and compose this work. As we’ll see in later chapters he’ll mention parts he had to interpret due to obscure language references, quotes from dead languages, parts of the text that Zampano seems to have tried to blot out or remove, and even down to word choices and spelling mistakes.
Next removed is the editors, which is the most unusual and, in my opinion interesting, layer. We should first note that the Editors are the ones who have had final review over the book before publication so when we see spelling errors or strange grammatical choices we have to assume they decided to let it slide. They seem to have tried maintain the most transparency and in this vein this is probably why they’ve decided to keep the syntax and grammatical choices as is to help preserve Johnny’s voice. Also it should be noted that the Editors assigned the different characters different fonts to help cut down on the confusion and to give everyone another layer of significance. They’ve chosen to assign them selves the same font as Zampano, which is a strange choice to me but here’s why I think they did it: In order to maintain the most level of transparency they “blend in” with the majority of the rest of the text (which is Zampano’s/Navidson’s voice). The Editors play an extremely minor but significant role being that since this project has been passed through at least 3 sets of eyes (Zampano, Johnny, and the Editors collective) that every choice and thing in here is there for a purpose. Nothing was an accident. Supposedly, however just because everything in here is done for a reason it’s not to say every choice is a plot important one. Keep this in mind, it’s what keeps me from loosing focus personally because it’s very easy to get lost in some small and seemingly significant details of this troublingly dense book.
- Chapter 8 page 98 (houseofleavesblog.wordpress.com)
- Chapter 8 page 97 (houseofleavesblog.wordpress.com)
- Interesting theories about House of Leaves. (aussand.wordpress.com)
- Creating Footnotes in WordPress (lorelle.wordpress.com)