Literature House Of Leaves Discussion

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10:42:25 AM Dec 28th 2013
Just a heads up. The color tags having been disabled for quite a long time as it turns out, I'm going to excise every instance of it in the page.

It was silly anyway. Now if we could just agree to rewrite the summary.
05:54:06 PM Feb 1st 2014
Why were the color tags disabled anyway? It works on every other page.
02:17:02 AM Feb 2nd 2014
Because they were junking up the wiki.
12:15:22 PM Sep 26th 2012
So staring at the warm glow of the computer monitor and the comforting shape of the letters is safe but what's behind my head is not? What have you people got against my wine cabinet?
07:33:31 AM Apr 29th 2012
Bilingual Bonus actually may be not the parody or a deliberate confusion on author's part but rather the case of realist writing. Most educated Europeans and Americans know at least some popular words and sentences in Latin without knowing the language. Most of them would recognize the expression 'Sieg Heil' without knowing a single word in German.
02:04:16 AM Feb 25th 2012
Would it be possible get a custom title that shows the word "House" in blue, in keeping with the rest of the page? Should we apply for one?
07:28:27 PM Jan 12th 2012
Did anyone notice that there's a guy named Zampano in Fullmetal Alchemist too?
01:33:12 PM Oct 29th 2011
Why are a couple of mentions of the word "house" outside this page and it's related subpages potholed to this page?
09:23:03 AM Oct 19th 2011
edited by frodobatmanvader
Am I the only one who thinks that Creepy Child entry is a tad inaccurate? Yeah, the book does hint that the girl liked to play "always Hallways" (but not in that exact phrasing, unless I missed it * ), but that was before the house got really creepy and the hallway was still a novelty. And also, the pictures? Most Creepy Children draw pics like that due to some primeval fascination with the creepy, but, at this point, the kids drew the pictures because they were traumatized by the house, not finding it fun anymore.

Anyone else think that this entry is a totally valid reading? Or should I throw it onto YMMV under Alternate Character Interpretation?
05:14:09 AM Dec 9th 2011
edited by HyperCatnip
I just finished reading and think you are right. Chad and Daisy aren't creepy. The house is. So yeah, alternate interpretation.
05:35:22 PM Feb 7th 2012
07:51:40 PM Jan 15th 2011
edited by mszegedy
What is this business about Neon Genesis Evangelion? Since the book doesn't contain the plot, shouldn't it be to have the capacity to understand NGE?
07:00:21 PM Feb 2nd 2011
Not to mention it's a major case of YMMV. I found most of Evangelion's "confusing parts" to be pretty easy to follow, especially ep. 25-26, so even with some things unanswered and a few strange moments, the TV ending and End of Evangelion didn't leave my head spinning. House of Leaves, on the other hand, spun my head so fast it threatened to come off.
05:26:31 AM Aug 13th 2011
The problem with NGE was often times it was vague and relied on symbolism or indirect means to tell you what was happening, but a visit to any established wiki site will explain to you what happened and the backstory. Once you get that information NGE isn't the least bit confusing (in retrospect at least). It's fairly straight forward.

House of Leaves is different because there ISN'T one answer (if there is an answer at all); and that is Danielewski's intent.
12:15:43 PM Oct 30th 2011
NGE is different in that it wasn't trying to be confusing. Once you work out what's going on and what slots into where, it's as easy to follow as anything and has a very very clear moral message attached to it. The trippiness in that case was caused by budgetary issues and the director having breakdowns every so often.

This, on the other hand, appears to be an actual real attempt to make something confusing. In a horribly self-congratulatory manner, because making no sense is such a goddamn achievement.
03:42:21 AM Aug 14th 2010
Just a note: I'm pretty sure the idea of the terminal velocity calculation is to tell us that Zampano is prone to leaping to fantastical conclusions rather than to tell us anything about the house itself. Sure, you could claim the house is capable of making the quarter accelerate ridiculously, but there's no physical evidence in Navidson's tape that it actually did (he hears the quarter hit the ground, not smash into it like the fist of an angry God), so no actual observation requires the stairway to be any deeper than the earlier given figure of 13 miles; in fact, it's probably more like 5 if the quarter's terminal velocity is factored in properly.
02:15:59 PM Mar 16th 2010
Okay, that description about the book is pretty funny and there seem to be some reoccuring gags about writing about a minotaur in red and striking it. But it doesn't tell the reader anything about this work. Maybe it's a completely freaky book, but for a casual tvtropes-reader who only wants to know what it's about, and has no intention of reading it. Or in fact, for anyone who hasn't read it yet, the jokes all don't make any sense. Please someone rewrite that.
11:26:40 PM Apr 22nd 2010
Completely agree.
12:38:02 PM Apr 27th 2010
Trust me, as a person who just yesterday finished the book- this description is the most comprehensible and understandable you could ask for.
02:21:38 PM May 9th 2010
edited by Anaheyla
As someone who doesn't believe that, I feel the injokes could be dispensed with. Excise the crossed out words and the colored words, remove the last paragraph altogether, get rid of the stupid "No wait that's not what it's about" and add in something to the effect of "The book focuses of a number of different people. First we have Bob Q Somebody who is some sort of photographer or something, then there's Crazy McCrazyPerson who wrote alot of the book within a book."
11:37:02 AM Jul 18th 2010
I disagree. I haven't read the book and I found those things appropriate in light of what I read on the page.
03:43:35 AM Aug 14th 2010
edited by Evilest_Tim
Also disagree. This is as coherent as it would be if you removed all the in-jokes, and turning it into a bland article would be a crying same after all the effort that's been put into making it self-demonstrating and descriptive. It's a postmodernist work with an extremely non-linear narrative, it actually does do the "wait, that's not what it's about" thing repeatedly, with claims throughout that layers of the story are actually fictional and flat contradictions (for example, the book claims the Navidson record is fictional sometimes and not fictional others, there are footnotes that argue with each other, at some points the book itself physically exists inside the narrative, etc). Put bluntly, asking for a coherent plot description would require that the book have a coherent plot to be described.
06:41:48 PM Aug 23rd 2010
This is as coherent as possible. The next best way to summarize it I've found is "a book about a book about a movie that never existed" and that really doesn't say much of anything.
08:39:14 AM Sep 26th 2010
This book can't be resumed as simply as other books are. Or if you really want it to be at it's simplest, without the red text, blue house and "wait, that's not it", just take the first quote. "It's a book about a book about a film about a house that is a labyrinth. In short, a book that is a labyrinth. "

And I really don't think that it helps anybody who didn't read the book more. So yeah, I disagree.
11:37:15 AM Nov 4th 2010
Read the book, then tell me that you could write a more coherent and useful description. I really think that it's not going to get any better than what we have.
04:30:33 PM Jun 10th 2011
Wikipedia seems to have managed just fine without the need of shoehorning in-jokes into it.
12:17:46 PM Jul 23rd 2011
edited by frodobatmanvader
Then go read the description at the That Other Wiki. Personally, I'm dying to read this book (just as soon as I get my hands on it), and one of the major reasons why has to do with how this description is written. If the purpose of a description is to summarize a work while simultaneously getting the reader interested, then congratulations, because This Troper is intrigued. Please leave the description as is; losing the personality would keep bored readers like myself from giving it any notice.
05:21:26 AM Aug 13th 2011
I have to disagree. Having just finished the book, I find the page incredibly accurate. Granted I think the "it's about this, no wait it's not, it's about this, or is it?" can be confusing, but the book IS a giant head-trip and the page conveys that just fine. It tells you what you need to know in terms of what this book is "about".

A lot of pages for other stuff have flavor, for example last time I checked the Joker from Batman's page reads like Joker himself wrote it. Should we change that to be more formal and informative? I hope not, just like I like the fact House of Leaves' page has the blue lettering and in jokes. Maybe it might intrigue someone to actually read it, since I'm willing to bet the majority of people will realize these things are involved with the book. They blue "house" and lines aren't jokes; they happen on the actual pages of the book.

Whoever wrote "Does the house, in fact, represent a vagina?" ... thank you, it made me burst out laughing.
12:22:20 PM Oct 30th 2011
The thing is, the description at current gives the impression of a book trying as hard as it can to make no sense in the most obnoxious and self-congratulatory way possible: the literary equivalent of a crappy "abstract" painting made by a 12 year old in about five minutes. All that can really be taken from it is that the author was obviously aiming to make confusing work and along the way forgot to actually make it mean anything.

Which isn't really the way to attract new readers, surprising as that might be.
11:51:53 AM Aug 23rd 2012
@ toydragon: No, they're not jokes. They're in-jokes, which is a whole nother bag of chips entirely isn't it?

The Malignancy's explanation pretty much summarizes the problems with it.
08:37:50 AM Sep 14th 2012
edited by frodobatmanvader
Ok, since my reply above I have actually purchased and read this book. DO NOT CHANGE THIS PAGE FOR IT.

Sorry, that came out stronger than it should have. However, I still stand by my statement. One line of thought from Yora's original post that bothers me is this: "...but for a casual tvtropes-reader who only wants to know what it's about, and has no intention of reading it." When exactly did T Vtropes become a substitution for, rather than a gateway to, great works of fiction? And why are we accommodating those who use this site that way?

Like I said before, the way that this page was written told me far more about what to expect from this book than if it had tried to straight-fowardly explain it's nonsensibility to me. In response to The Malignancy's comment: yeah, if that's what you got from this trope page then we probably did you a favor, because I can guarantee you that the book would have matched whatever you got out of this (since the page is an accurate representation of what the book has to offer). Contrary to what you said, though, that can be the way to attract new readers, if those readers find this book's approach to that style intriguing (like I did). It also has the benefit of warding off readers who find that annoying, not intriguing (thus saving them a waste of time).

So my argument is that changing the way the page presents itself would do a disservice: it would cease to attract those who would generally find the book interesting and start to attract the attention of those who would feel it's a waste of time.

My apologies if I've come across too strong; I just feel very strongly about this book not being misrepresented.

EDIT: They took away the "book about a book about a movie about a labyrinth" quote!? The HELL!?
02:01:42 AM Apr 3rd 2015
Having also read the book and having found myself enjoying it, the present page offers nothing to a person who is merely interested, and makes us look pretentious and smug.

Yes, there are multiple layers to the book and it goes for True Art Is Incomprehensible to the power of ten, but we should really at least try and offer something which is as clear as can be. As difficult as that can be, describing it as multi-layered and confusing can still be done without going overboard on it.
02:42:12 AM Apr 3rd 2015
I agree with dumping the current description. It is far too vague and circuitous for me.
06:59:26 AM Nov 20th 2017
edited by LB7979
Just to clarify why I changed the page quote:

This page had two page quotes (yeah, the 2nd was a stealth one, with odd monospace-formatting, but still a 2nd quote) which isn't allowed on the wiki. Took the 1st quote out since that also already is the Laconic, moved the 2nd one to the image caption since it seems an improvement over the current one, and used another, relevant, quote as page quote.

Because the previous (1st) quote was the same as the Laconic, it didn't seem to add any value.

The previous image caption, "You cannot leave the House", is not a direct quote from the book IIRC, and also not true (most protagonists do leave the House), so doesn't seem fitting.


On 2nd thought, the following would probably be an even better fitting page quote:

"...fighting with everything you’ve got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name.

And then the nightmares will begin."

Or even just

"And then the nightmares will begin."

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