chapter 9 path 10

Chapter 9 Path 10

Path 10 is a fun one, it’s the first and only path that seems to serve as an “exit path” for the chapter. It’s also the only path that forks (in the way I see it anyway), and it also marks the beginning of the very long and extremely complex paths.

Path 10 (fork A):

Start: p 107 : skip footnote X : go to p. 111
p. 111 : skip footnote 129 : go to p 113
skip p 114 footnote 134 : skip p 114 footnote 135
skip p 114 footnote 136 : skip p 114 footnote 137
stop p 114 footnote 138 (fork) : stop ch 6 p 76 footnote 82
End Path 10 (fork A): Technical Dead end/very long loop

This fork leads us on one of the more enigmatic mysteries of the house: Animals. On page 114 we’re told that a labyrinth is the antithesis of Noah’s Ark. Noah’s Ark is a microcosm of the world as envisioned by the Herbews (the world was split into 3 flat planes, one of hell one of earth and one of heaven) which is the same design of the Ark – 3 levels or decks. Noah’s ark also a symbol of savior from the wrath of god, a place where all is provided for and everything is easy.  This then makes the labyrinth the place of nothing, the place where all is lost, there is no light, and everything is taken from you (remember how things just disappear on the explorations).

However none of this goes to explain why the animals presence isn’t supported in the labyrinth.  I’ve covered my theories on this in chapter 6.

One last interesting note about the ark is god ordered the door to be on the east side to symbolized the coming of christ (as he is supposed to come from the east when he comes back according to the myth).  The location of the door to the labyrinth has changed 4 times in the book: North p4, West p57, South p319, and finally East p385.  Page 385 is also the beginning of Navidison’s return to the house and his final exploration of that house.

The whole Noah’s Ark model has me thinking about the layers of HoL in general. In the beginning, Zampano created the world that The Navadisons live in, a nice little place where lives are lived and he has ultimate control of their lives. In this way, this makes Zampano the creator or god of the TNR world.  Then along comes Johnny, a drug using sex mongering, heavy drinking and generally fractured individual or the representation of christian “sins” (which he will all manifest through the story).  Johnny serves as a figure who finds this little world and causes havoc, chaos, and generally changes things (as he admits to in chapter II page 16 footnote 20).  However logic dictates that god and the devil are 2 sides of the same being; that being said both men, Zapano and Johnny play a role in shaping the lives of the Navidsons (referring back to Johnny’s alteration of text) we can presume that Zapano originally was gonna kill the kids (see the collage in front of book or page 552) and Johnny alters that scene completely. We also have to consider if that note is just a piece of the pounds of scribbled paper, only some of which made it into the book, Johnny choose the direction and things that’d happen to the Navidsons by choosing what pieces to include and exclude (see page 550).

Anyway back to my original idea, Zapano, Johnny, and TNR all represent 3 layers that compose this story similar to how the ark has 3 layers. There Might be something there.

Path 10(fork B):

Start: p 107 : skip footnote X : go to p. 111
p. 111 : skip footnote 129 : go to p 113
skip p 114 footnote 134 : skip p 114 footnote 135
skip p 114 footnote 136 : skip p 114 footnote 137
stop p 114 footnote 138 (fork) : go to ch 11 p253 (Tom’s Story)
stop p 261 footnote 249
End path 10 (fork B): Not sure how to classify. Dead end or Exit?

p. 258 (Tom’s Story) Day 2: 16:01

“Love, Death & Nike” reminds me of another story: There was this young boy who would venture into the woods near his home.  One day he found a caterpillar and became fascinated in following the caterpillar all around while it munched and munched. Day after day he’d come back and visit the caterpillar and day after day it’d grow bigger until one day he saw it making it self into a cocoon. This worried the boy but after asking his father he was assured that it’d reemerge in time.  Day after day he would visit the cocoon with no changes until one day he saw the cocoon stir and break and from which a butter fly was beginning to emerge. The boy watched as the caterpillar struggled with freedom until he could stand it no longer and helped the caterpillar by cutting open the rest of the cocoon for it. Now free the butter fly tried to fly but found its wings too weak and fell to the ground where it died.  That one I like to call “The Human Intervention Effect”.

p. 260 Day 2: 17:16

This riddle eluded me for a while (I may not have spent so much time thinking about this had I read Hamlet).  The punchline of this riddle can be interpreted in multiple ways.  Traditionally Sextons were grave makers for the church and the church (or house of god) is supposed to last till judgment day (sextons could have lived in the church making it their house).  Another way is if the grave maker makes the coffin or you interpret the grave as the new home of the deceased then that “house” built by the grave maker will last till judgment day as well. And then in a bit of research I found almost the same exact riddle spoken between the grave makers in Hamlet:

“GRAVEDIGGER: What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter? OTHER: The gallows-maker, for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.”
—V.i., 38-41
Later on “GRAVEDIGGER: And when you are asked this question next, say “A grave-maker.” The houses that he makes last till doomsday.”
—V.i., 53-55
The original context of this riddle further continues the continuing nautical theme that seems to relate this book back to many mythologies and classic literature that is concerned or centrally focused on nautical based stories but what’s more interesting is that Tom said this.  This with the string of other witty stories and low social status portrays Tom as the jester or clown of the story by directly linking him to a Shakespearian fool.

p. 260 (Tom’s Story) Day 2: 18:28
Here’s an interesting little scene. Here we have Tom personifying Mr. Monster as shadow puppets, transforming into any shape that’s convenient until it becomes something truly scary: a dragon.  In the face of death how does our hero defeat the Monster? Turn out the lights.  It like Tom is saying “How do you defeat a monster that exists in the dark? Take away the light. With out contrast, nothing can exist.”

Overall there’s more to this path that I can explore at this moment.  It has something to do with the center of Luopan board and the placement of beings in the single area of the known world where energies are lost. Or something. This probably won’t be revisited until v2.0.