Moment/Experience in the Hallway

I wish I would have reread the introduction to House of Leaves about halfway through the novel instead of after I completed the book; as noted in class, Johnny’s initial comments certainly give the reader an insightful gander towards what the reader is to expect in the oft-confusing pages to come.
It’s with this knowledge in mind that I reexamined the hallways of the Navidson Record. Of course, these hallways are not necessarily physical, tangible objects—whatever you perceive them to be in a optical sense is rather irrelevant. It doesn’t really matter.
It is evident that Navidson is searching for a finite, certain, incontroversial truth. One which cannot be refuted: solid, proven fact. Instead he, and Johnny and us, too, are taken a lovely ride through these endless, black, ever-changing hallways.
I’d like to take this concept on quite literally, as much as that seems to haunt those who study literature. Navidson wants truth, but, alas—yes, of course it must be this way—there is no truth, no end, no established certitude. It seems mind-boggling, but it really isn’t.
The hallway is free-form and shifting upon Navidson’s first excursion; his disorientation in the darkness and, perhaps most importantly, his novelty upon this first visit corrupts his understanding of the hallway. When he attempts to return home, it has changed. With each door and each new hall, he hopes to find his origin. The origin of his excursion has now become the answer he seeks, but even that proves difficult to find.
After this visit first, short visit Navidson sketches out a rough blueprint for Holloway & Co. of the initial makeup of the unknown area. The closet has taken on a shape for the first time.
Holloway and his gang’s first trip seems to follow a similar pattern for a spell. They find the Great Hall, which Navidson documented for them rather confidently, but upon further exploration the trio come across the massive, stretching stairwell. Again, the hallway has evolved. This, as we know, is the one constant of the hallway: it is always changing. Again and again and again, the hallways shifts. Certain aspects, rooms, or corridors have become partially static—embedded in the adventurers’ collective memories—but they expand or dwindle with trip.
What changes between one visit and the next? Is it the hallway really shifting?
Nothing, as far as we know, actually changes the hallway. When the players are back inside the rest of the home, the hallway seems static. Even the beginning of the hall is consistent from visit to visit. It is only when one is inside that the shifts occur.
This is experience. There is no static, there is no constant—these things are not real, just illusory concepts that attempt to pinpoint any certain place in time. Something finite. An end. But the mere fact that one is constantly experiencing…this fluffy concept of the present…is not real, for there is no present and each conception of that 1/1000000000000000000000000000000000000 of a second that we conceive to be the present is wholly, completely and undeniably based on the 1/1000000000000000000000000000000000000 of a second before it and on and on and on until that answer, even when one thinks they have found it, has shifted so many times that it is a rather unrecognizable darkness.

-Steve Whisler

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~ by PDG on March 22, 2010.

 
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