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“Now You See It…”: A Critical Analysis Of Natalie Hamilton's “The A Mazing House: The Labyrinth As Theme And Form In Mark Z. Danielewski's House Of Leaves”

930 words - 4 pages

The article, “The A-Mazing House: The Labyrinth as Theme and Form in Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves” by Natalie Hamilton is a scholarly journal entry which has an interesting take on the novel House of Leaves written by Mark Z. Danielewski. The article’s main focus is on labyrinths and the examination of the use of them as the theme and form in House of Leaves. In order to examine the theme and form, the mode of approach Hamilton takes is to “provide partial blueprints for [the] house by examining the foundations for which it is built”(3) as well as exploring the Danielewski’s use of labyrinths throughout the novel.
The thesis in this paper is the idea that House of Leaves is all ...view middle of the document...

Hamilton states that in order to overcome their labyrinth (relationship), Karen must “overcome her fear of losing Navidson”(8) and Will must “face the part of himself that places work above relationships.”(8)
The next level of narrative is Zampano and his labyrinth “can be clearly seen as one of his own making.”(8) Hamilton says that the entire House of Leaves is his making and it is “a maze of footnotes, fact, and fiction.”(8) Also, “[his] trunk full of papers is a disorderly jumble of writing on papers, napkins…and even matchbooks.”(8)
Johnny Truant is the next level of narration brought up by Hamilton who possesses a personal labyrinth. Truant’s personal labyrinth is his mother, Pelifina’s, letters that were sent to him. These letters are known as The Whalestoe Letters and they bring back memories of Truant’s troubled past, which he was unable to fully overcome. Hamilton goes even further to say, “one interpretation of House of Leaves would be to see the entire work as the product of Truant’s troubled mind.”(8) This goes to show how much Truant is troubled by his past and how deep of a labyrinth he is trapped into. Zampano’s manuscript is the key that Truant believes will help him face the demons of his past and escape his personal labyrinth.
The mysterious “editors” have three other narratives to work with (9) as well as many fictitious sources qouted by Zampano. That is a pretty tough labyrinth to conquer. There is not too much textual evidence or proof given to support the fact that the editors face a labyrinth, since it is pretty straight forward and all Hamilton needed to do was to state it.
The reader may not have a narrative segment in the book; however, Hamilton argues that the reader also experiences a labyrinth of their...

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