Creator / Mark Z. Danielewski

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"We all create stories to protect ourselves."

Mark Z. Danielewski (born March 5th, 1966) is an author most well-known for House of Leaves. His works all employ unique and unconventional styles in terms of the formatting of the text itself, and also are somewhat infamous for being very confusing a good portion of the time.

His works so far include:

Each of his books is formatted in a way meant to reference an altogether different art medium - House of Leaves is connected to the movie, Only Revolutions is connected to music, The Fifty Year Sword is connected to campfire stories, and The Familiar is connected to television series. This is reflected by the style of the books, such as Only Revolutions being written in a somewhat musical, poetry-esque style, and The Familiar being released in several small pieces.

Poe is his sister, and their works are somewhat connected.

Tropes commonly used by MZD

  • Bilingual Bonus: Sometimes you get translations next to the usage of other languages, but not all the time.
  • Call Back: To his earlier works. For example, "allways" from Only Revolutions appearing in The Fifty Year Sword and The Familiar - with "allways" itself being possibly connected to House of Leaves (hallways.)
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: House of Leaves has a.o. French, German and Latin - some parts translated, others not. The Familiar has a few narrators whose native language is not English and sometimes interject their native language (namely, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Armenian or Mandarin) in the narrative.
  • Title Drop: Taken to extreme in House of Leaves - as that book itself appears In Universe and is read by a character.
  • Unconventional Formatting: The master of it. Colored text, upside-down text, a myriad of fonts, text arranged in the shape of what's going on in the book, raining text, footnote labyrinths...
  • Unreliable Narrator: As part of the Mind Screwy nature of his works, you cannot trust anything you read. In House of Leaves, narrator Johnny at a certain point even outright tells the reader he lied to them, and the last few pages were totally made up.
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