Experimental Narratives – House of Leaves
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 9:07AM
Kris Madden in Books, What I Learned Yesterday, avant-garde, experimental

I gave one of my friends a copy of Jonathan Safran Froer’s new book Tree of Codes, which was created by die-cutting one of Froer’s favorite books The Street of Crocodiles into an entirely new book. He said that if I was interested in avant-garde literature I might like Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves. He said it was difficult to explain it but that he’d bring in a copy for me to peruse through.

Yesterday, I got to see it and it is bizarre and in the best way a book can be. When looking through it I felt like I was going through an unorganized folio of collected material and it was my job to decode the information and make sense of the whole thing. I felt like it was my duty to find the through line, the plot, the narrative, the meaning, etc. It was a unique and wonderful experience. And this is prior to reading a single page of text, for all I know, the story could be crap, but if this mood of investigation and discovery is what Danielewski is after, he’s already succeeding before page one, which says a lot. I’m looking forward to challenge of figuring this the book out and hopefully making my way to the end.

If you're interested in experimental literature I recommend checking this book out for at least a quick flip through its 700+ pages.

Take Care.

Article originally appeared on Kris Madden - The Speed Reading Writer (http://www.krismadden.com/).
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