“Settle in maybe put down roots…” Word choice is an important detail to pay attention to in this book. One thing I’ve noticed, is that Navidson uses lots of tree adjectives to describe moving in and settling in, epically roots.
“I just want to create a cozy little outpost…” Another slightly unusual word choice that ends up reoccurring are words with war like connotations or definitions. The irony in this choice of word is particularly funny in that an outpost is constructed to protect stationed troops from outside threats and yet little do they know the threat is the outpost.
However we must consider why Navidson as a character chose this word and how it reflects in his state of mind. Navidson is a photographer who has spent more time in hostile and/or war zone than anywhere one would call “cozy”. This being so, we can reasonably assume that he approaches things like a soldier would: Who/What is the target? What is my mission? Ect ect. So now that he’s been given an ultimatum of working abroad or staying home he chooses to stay home but he’s not quite adjusted to home life. Even in home life he still views things through his scope: objectively. “My mission is to create an outpost for my family. The objective is to document the transition. The target is my family.” Viewing everything from through a lens seems to have removed something human from Navidson; he has lost his sense of engagement and traded it for the ability to be an observer trying to remain as interfering as possible (because the objective of a photographer is to capture candid moments, to remove one self from the picture as to not disturb the natural motion of things).
There are those editors again. They don’t say much but we can infer a little from what they do provide. Judging from their vernacular, they’re highly educated (which is expected from professional editors) and they’re in doubt of the authenticity of the “critical analysis” that Zampano is providing on TNR. The footnote they’re addressing is on page 55 which they seem to share the same sentiment as the lady being quoted in the footnote Johnny wrote.
The word choices they use do seem to set them apart from Johnny who speaks very colloquially, sometimes even vulgarly, however it still bothers me that they share a font with Zampano even though later on in the book it would seem it’s impossible for them to be the same person as Zampano. My best guess as to their purpose is to serve as the most objective/authoritative voice among voices in this book. Every other one of the characters has something that tosses their credibility out: Zampano is writing a critical analysis on a documentary that doesn’t seem to exist and if it did he is still blind; Johnny freely admits to changing/adding words to the text to suit his purposes (whether it be interpretation or just because he wants to).
The main reason I’m not counting Navidson as a voice is that even if the documentary did exist in the HoL cannon, we’re not getting it from the source, we’re only getting bits and pieces blended in with Zampano’s “lengthy narrative descriptions” acting as interpretive analysis.
- Chapter 1 Page 4 (houseofleavesblog.wordpress.com)
- Chapter one Pages 1-3 (houseofleavesblog.wordpress.com)
- Chapter 1 Pages 5-7 (houseofleavesblog.wordpress.com)
- Chapter 8 page 98 (houseofleavesblog.wordpress.com)
- Chapter 8 page 97 (houseofleavesblog.wordpress.com)
- 6 traits of great writing – according to a fourth-grade teacher (prdaily.com)
- Featured Articles: Characterization of the Dead (escapistmagazine.com)