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Sunday, 20 February 2011

House of Leaves - The Navidson Record - Part XIV

I'm not very good at this time-keeping thing, am I? I do feel rather bad about saying I'll update more often, then not getting round to it when I said I would. Reading week ended up being a bit busier than I'd anticipated.
Anyway, part 14 of the Navidson Record, where the quote at the top would imply that it's looking at the fall-out of Tom's death and appreciating what you've got/had. A nice topic, but I can't see this being the most exciting of chapters; a stop-gap chapter if you will.
We start the chapter with Navidson going away to sort out Tom's things and not coming back to Karen and the kids in New York when he said he would, apparently going back to the house, like an idiot; Karen decides to have an affair while he's gone, seemingly to spite him. While I'm of the opinion that adultery is one of the worst things you can do in a relationship, I can sort of see Karen's reasoning; he's effectively abused her trust so many times that you could almost say he had it coming.
After the ordeal in the house, Karen's claustrophobia has worsened until she can't go in dark/enclosed spaces of any kind. And the (possible) origins of said claustrophobia have just been revealed, making her behaviour make a lot more sense: when she was 14, she and her elder sister were raped by their stepfather, with the sister that wasn't currently being raped lowered into the bottom of a well. It would make perfect sense in context, but Karen won't comment on whether it's true or not.
So we're back to Karen's affair, caused by the fall-out from the house and the problems she had with Navidson anyway. This guy, Fowler, seems to have helped her up when she fell over and twisted her ankle in the street. Of course, when the film gets some success, the press are all over it, with Fowler being more than willing to spill (some) details about it. Reston is more than happy to debunk some of them, which is nice, but probably fairly futile. The weird thing is that Navidson seems to have had some awareness of her indiscretions all along, through her collection of love letters from people, but hasn't really focused on it much; I would've thought that would be a real hot topic of discussion for the two of them. Johnny interjects here with a protest that lots of people keep old letters, giving his mum keeping the first letter she received from him as an example; it's really rather sweet, but really sad at the same time.
Anyway, back to the main narrative, where it seems that Navidson has gone back for a final exploration of the house on purpose, because he already knows that he's lost her. That's got to be the most depressing feeling possible really, to know that you're going to lose the one you love because regardless of what you do, you've already caused too much damage. When Karen decides she wants to go back to Navidson, she's lost him in turn as well.

A rather melancholy chapter, but I suppose I wasn't that far off the mark at the beginning there. It's more appreciating what you can't have again though, which is somehow worse as a partner is one of those things that should be cherished as much as possible while they're there. The people in your life, they're the only things that should never be taken for granted in all honesty, because there will never be anyone exactly like them ever again once they're gone.

Signing off,

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