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More from N Katherine Hayles. By god, that woman’s haunting me this week. Today’s paper comes via a google search for information relating to House Of Leaves and the phrase “… and pieces”. Speaking purely as an observer of things coincidental and synergistic, I can only say ‘go figure’. Hayles is good, though. Her discourse on HoL, about which I’ve written here before, is concerned with the process of remediation that takes place, or rather manifests, through the book. The book itself is a remediation of film and new media in a printed form (this I’d agree with, although I hadn’t put it quite like that, and it does tie up my question about Danielewski’s motivational perspective while writing HoL and later, Only Revolutions, as being, respectively, Postmodern and Modernist), and as such Hayles suggests the text works as a technotext:

..to return to the print book and reinvigorate it by extending its claims in relation to a plethora of competing media. To designate texts that display this heightened sense of their materiality, I have coined the term technotext. Produced by inscription technologies, technotexts construct their materialities so as to foreground the inscription technologies that produce them.

There’s some considerable truth in that. Texts that, by returning to the printed form, actualise something of their digital heritage in the formal qualities of their final construction. It fits for Only Revolutions too, which makes me, as a Danielewski apologist, rather happy. Right, back to labyrinths for an hour or so before I call it a day and head out of here for easter. I’ll leave the final word with Katherine Hayles, who introduces House of Leaves thusly:

Camouflaged as a haunted-house tale, House of Leaves is a metaphysical inquiry worlds away from the likes of The Amityville Horror. It instantiates the crisis characteristic of postmodernism, in which representation is short-circuited by the realization that there is no reality independent of mediation. Rather than trying to penetrate cultural constructions to reach an original object of inquiry, House of Leaves uses the verymultilayered inscriptions that create it as a physical artifact to imagine the subject as a palimpsest, emerging not behind but through the inscriptions that bring the book into being.


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