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Sunday, 13 March 2011

House of Leaves - The Navidson Record - Part XXIII

After that last chapter that seemed to wrap up the remaining storylines, I'm going to be quite honest and say that I have no idea what the remaining 130 odd pages will have to add; it seems pretty finalised to me. Oh well, I will continue, though it is tempting to just leave the story at that largely satisfying ending.
There is no quotation at the beginning of this chapter, so I'm going to assume that it's basically wrapping up the Navidson Record as an academic text, which sounds pretty uninteresting if I'm totally honest; having written academic essays myself, they aren't the most absorbing of things to read.
The chapter starts by telling the reader what happens to the Navidsons after the events we all know by now (and yes, the plural was intentional as Navidson and Karen got married, which is sweet). So on the surface it would seem that they lived happily ever after. Zampano, however, is determined to make this bittersweet by looking at the potential (but very likely) psychological damage they suffered due to exposure to the house.
So over a year has passed since they all got out of the house, and they've sensibly moved to Vermont. Navidson seems to be recovering well from the frostbite from the previous chapter. The kids seem to have moved on without any real mental problems (although Chad wants to become an architect when he's older, which is probably fairly telling). Karen's been diagnosed with malignant breast cancer, but seems to be responding to her treatment well, which is something I suppose. But despite this heart-warming stuff (apart from the cancer, seeing as that tends to be pretty difficult to make heart-warming), the house is still present in their lives in some way, as Navidson can't quite let go of it or at least the memories of it. But the chapter (and by extension the film) ends on a fairly positive note as it shows him going trick-or-treating with his kids, as a mild lampshading of the genre his work will inevitably end up being grouped with.

And that's the end of the Navidson Record. It probably signals the end of the story proper, but there are exhibits and appendices still to read, so I might as well review them too. Again, a very short and sweet chapter, wrapping up Navidson's storyline further. In terms of making their conclusion bit more bittersweet, I don't think the book entirely succeeded, but it at least isn't a straight Disney-style happily ever after ending. 

Signing off,

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