New Perspective from A Million Blue Pages & House of Leaves
Being a part of A Million Blue Pages and contributing objects to the page made the experience of reading and analyzing Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves so much more interactive and dynamic. Just as the novel forces the reader to see and interpret the book as an object, creating the objects made me, as a student, take my ideas and concepts about the book and interpret them as visual entities. Doing so brought my interaction with the text to a whole new level. Not only was I visually able to display my thoughts, but I was also able to see the views of others. This broadened my interpretation which led to a cycle of new concepts regarding House of Leaves.
In regards to my own posts for A Million Blue Pages, I used a variety of different media in order to create objects. For two of my objects I used a free, online gif generator. The first gif I created was a series of images that was supposed to represent the Exploration #4 trailer that Navidson had created. I went on Google Images and selected several photos that I thought represented the jagged, cutting scenes that were written about in detail in the novel. Creating this was a way for me, and others, to see a representation of the jagged and jarring images that were described so vividly. The other gif focused on the words on a specific page, and how the blankness of the page made the words more intense and jolting. By creating the gif, the words came alive and moved, just like the “it” that is described on the mostly empty page.
In addition to the gifs, I created a Photoshop image of the Feng Shui blessed areas and a broken compass. By blending those images together, I tried to convey how the house destroyed religion and something as factual and scientifically based as the four cardinal directions. Also, I created a Word Cloud in the shape of a house. I used the text from the second page of Navidson’s letter to Karen, in which he discusses God and the house. In the letter he concludes that they are one in the same, and the Word Cloud visually shows this since the words are approximately the same size, indicating he used them equally. Those two words are surrounded by other faith, religious, and fearful words that emphasize his fixation on the house as God.
The last object is still in the works. Cole, Roberto, and I wanted to create a sound bite of an echo only occurring at exactly 56 ½ feet, as indicated in House of Leaves. Cole and I went outside one day and stood 56 ½ feet away from a wall. Though we heard the echo, our recording device was not good enough to capture the sound well. We were hoping to capture an image of the echo wave length, but were unable to do so with the technology we possessed. Now we are working on just finding an image of an echo wavelength to substitute for our failed attempt.
We wanted to capture this wavelength because we wanted to see for ourselves whether this fact stated in this book was true. An interesting aspect of House of Leaves is that the novel questions truth and reality. Even language, something people rely on so avidly, could just be an illusion. By performing the test and trying to capture the wavelength, we were questioning language and fact right along with the author. Though this object was not as successful as we may have wished, it was still an interesting experiment that emphasized the theme of truth and language that is so prevalent in House of Leaves.
Overall, working on these object for House of Leaves made analyze a novel in a way I have never had to before. Instead of reading left to right and madly typing out an essay after reading the book, I had to hold and analyze House of Leaves in so many new and creative ways.