chapter 8 page 99

Chapter 8

Page 99

O or – – – (cont)

Lines 1 – “Time passes.”

Subject, verb. Very short sentence, very terse. It stands out on this page because it’s the shortest sentence by four words on this page and is by far the least complex as every other sentence is structurally complex and varied in tempo and subject matter. The subject matter of this one is time passing which appropriately sets the tone for the rest of the page as the primary focus of this passage is about how time passes in the Navidson house hold while they wait for radio contact.

However the brevity of this sentence sticks with me because of the entire “O” or “- – -” segment (pages 98-101) it’s uncharacteristically short, breaking the theme of long, complex sentences emphasizing the long drawn out format reflecting the morris code dashes.

Lines 1-9 (as a whole)

The first sentence got me thinking about Navidison and this whole chapter being a cry for help and given that he knows what’s going to happen to his marriage and brother and the like, viewed as a whole it’s can be scene as a cry of distress for every one in this paragraph (Navidson, Tom, Chad, Daisy, and Karen).

If we examine the length of the first 3 sentences we see a pattern: The first one is short, the second one is medium short and the third one is the second shortest sentence of the page. Starting to see a familiar pattern emerge here? “ . . . ”

The next three sentences are longer and more complex. “ – – – ”

The next sentence breaks pattern though in that it’s a long complex sentence which on it’s own seems to make an additional dash, but look closer and you’ll find the sentence is broken into shorter segments by commas. However, despite my best efforts the segments of the final sentence makes nothing that I can recognize. What I got out of it was, “ – – – . . ” (based on counting the words in each segment: 5, 9, 5, 4, 3 [5 and up being dashes, and 4 and below being dots]) even reconfigured as “ . – . . . ” it yields nothing for me. I’m willing to admit there could some sort of combination I did not try or there’s something I’m missing. What is interesting to note is that this pattern of “ – – – . . ” mirrors the pattern on page 102 of “ – – . . . ” both this sentence and that final paragraph featuring Karen on the phone with her mother making incomplete SOS signals. Or, in the context of the book (busy signal = . and ring = – from page 103) we get 3 rings and 2 busy signals.

And if we’re looking at this, it should be noted that the first part of the paragraph spells out “SO” which is mentioned and examined further on page 103.

Lines 22-3 – “[Reston] has an almost animal like ability to accept the world as it comes to him.”

This is an interesting word choice to note in that Reston, the pets, and the children are the only characters to to accept the labyrinth with little to no question. This seems to tie into the them of faith, animals, and children. More on this later.


Footnote 114

Concerning the book Tom is said to be reading “Where The Wild Things Are” it’s said to be appropriate to the context of this story for reasons unstated. My interpretation is that the story, Where the Wild Things Are, is appropriate because it concerns empowering younger children or people made to feel small over larger forces they cannot control, which is essentially what Navidson is trying to do with this documentary. He’s made to feel small by the enormity of his own home so he seeks to combat this monster by trying to quantify it to prove that it’s not as large as it seems and maybe even shrink it’s size by capturing it on a VHS (which is certainly smaller than a man, physically).

However on a more metaphorical level, the monster his house turns into might be viewed as a manifestation of his issues (and even more probably the issues of Karen, their marriage, and his fractured relationship with his brother). Navidson has tried to be king or master of these problems by scaring them off by doning the wolf costume, like the boy in the book, and acting like a fearless warrior conquering all he sees by capturing the horror of war and famine in his 35mm camera. When he’s confined to this house (the boy is sent to his room by his mother) products of his imagination transports him to an isolated island of monsters that frighten and threaten him. Similar to the boy in the book he eventually comes to peace with his demons and at which point he’s forgiven ultimately TNR ends with a happy ending…well sort of. MZD seems to have intended the ending of HOL to be a happy one (as stated at his book reading in St. Louis in October of 2012, [which I attended]) however I believe that’s up to interpretation. As an existential or transcendental story, it could be interpreted as a happy ending but there’s still some elements and characters that cause me to be in somewhat disagreement. More on this at a future point.

Footnote 115

“Pawns, Bishops & Castles” is a reference to MZD’s sister (Poe) and one of her songs “Control”. Lyrics



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