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Thursday, 3 March 2011

House of Leaves - The Navidson Record - Part XIX

Wow, part 19 of the Navidson Record. It's taken a fair while, but I'm definitely making progress. Last time, I believe heebie jeebies were caused by the wall behind Karen turning black (then negated by Madagascar being played in the room next-door). So now we get to find out what will actually happen to Karen.
The quote beginning the chapter talks about how photography doesn't bring us closer to nature, but actually serves to serparate us from it. Why do I get the feeling that Karen will be largely ignored in this chapter now?
Yup, the focus seems to be on Navidson again. Not amused. This chapter looks to me like it'll be concentrating on why he went back to the house and what's been happening to him while he was in there. We start off with another, less formal theory as to why he went back in: to get a better quality picture. It's so simple, yet the mind tends to pass over it because of it. That and it's a bloody stupid reason to go back in, frankly. Regardless, he seems to have ordered a lot of hi-tech filming equipment before he went back, so it was certainly planned, which seems missing from the other ideas.
We then are launched into an impassioned argument defending photojournalism as an art-form. Interesting as it is, and much as I would love to debate it generally, I'm really not in the mood for intellectual defences of photography at the moment: considering where it left off last time, I'm more in the mood for some pay-off, like Karen being eaten or something. Anyway, at the same time as it defends photography, it's demonstrating just how marvelous a photojournalist Navidson is: it wanders a bit too far to Mary Sue territory for my liking, but then I might just be biased. It then analyses what makes the Delial picture so fantastic, which feels a bit odd right at this moment, seeing as we kind of finished with Delial a few chapters back: why bring her back now? The chapter concludes with a statement that while Navidson has often photographed death, there's always been something between him and death for him to focus on, but by re-entering the house he is removing the other and photographing (well, filming in this case) something he'd never tried to photograph before.
The chapter then ends, rather abruptly I feel. I will admit that I've mostly enjoyed the book so far, but that chapter was just irritating really. Much as Navidson's profession as a photojournalist is probably important to the narrative, I don't see how gushing about his work for an entire chapter is necessary for the book.

One good thing about this chapter is that it sets us up nicely for re-entering the house with Navidson, but still not happy.

Signing off,

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