House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby rrwoods » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:06 pm UTC

Redirected here from a newer thread on this topic.

I'm currently at the beginning of IV.

Let me confirm that this book is already OMGasm-off-the-scale awesome.

I also re-propose a filter to change house to house, even when it's not a lonely word (i.e., housewife, houses, etc.)

edit: It seems this book (or what would eventually become the book) had a cult internet following before it was published. Are the Hallway and Exposition videos available as clips anywhere?
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby no-genius » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:21 pm UTC

rrwoods wrote:edit: It seems this book (or what would eventually become the book) had a cult internet following before it was published. Are the Hallway and Exposition videos available as clips anywhere?

AHHHAHAHAH!!!! The film isn't real! :P (or is it? :shock: )
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby rrwoods » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:19 pm UTC

no-genius wrote:
rrwoods wrote:edit: It seems this book (or what would eventually become the book) had a cult internet following before it was published. Are the Hallway and Exposition videos available as clips anywhere?

AHHHAHAHAH!!!! The film isn't real! :P (or is it? :shock: )

Well, obv the film isn't real since this is a work of fiction; I get that. But the way the book is written (with the multiple levels of fictionality) and the internet following makes me think that maybe someone out there made clips; possibly that someone was the author himself. Which would be really cool. I mean hell, Zampano even comments that the Five and a Half Minute Hallway could have been faked by a beginning film student, why not actually fake it???
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Re:

Postby katwingz18 » Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:51 am UTC

iridesce wrote:Have you ever noticed the difference between reading a creepy book in daylight and reading it in the dead of the night while you're alone in the house?

The latter is an awesome way to read House of Leaves. Talk about being afraid of the dark.

Try reading it while sitting all alone in a truck on the tarmac at an airport at night while watching a gate and having to check the IDs of all the truck drivers that come through it to make sure they actually have the right clearance and are, in fact, allowed to enter the area.

Normally, I like being swallowed up by the books I read, but in the case of House of Leaves... reading it while surrounded on all sides by nothing but darkness, punctuated only by the dim dome light of the truck, and the tiny pinpricks of light lining the runways in the distance (our airport isn't a very big one; not much traffic)... this, along with the highly unusual layout of the book itself, the "omgwhyamIturningmybook" effect, as the creator of the thread put it, only further served to enhance the sensation, and at the time it scared the hell out of me.

I think it would be very, VERY difficult to make a movie out of House of Leaves - in fact, I think it would be pretty much impossible to do it without screwing it up, just based on the fact that it is a very long book and there is only so long that people are willing to sit in a theater, so it naturally follows that things would have to be cut out to make it shorter. To prevent disaster, Danielziewski himself would have to basically babysit the whole project from beginning to end.

Like several people have said before, there are some things that are just better left to the imagination, and this is one of them.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby scowdich » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:39 am UTC

rrwoods wrote:
no-genius wrote:
rrwoods wrote:edit: It seems this book (or what would eventually become the book) had a cult internet following before it was published. Are the Hallway and Exposition videos available as clips anywhere?

AHHHAHAHAH!!!! The film isn't real! :P (or is it? :shock: )

Well, obv the film isn't real since this is a work of fiction; I get that. But the way the book is written (with the multiple levels of fictionality) and the internet following makes me think that maybe someone out there made clips; possibly that someone was the author himself. Which would be really cool. I mean hell, Zampano even comments that the Five and a Half Minute Hallway could have been faked by a beginning film student, why not actually fake it???

There's a couple versions of "The Five and a Half Minute Hallway" floating around YouTube.

They're not very good.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby rrwoods » Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:40 pm UTC

Finished this a few days ago. I'm torn between love and hate for the part where
Spoiler:
Johnny is talking to the band, and the book makes you flip back to find the references to his ironies and that guy whose voice was struck as punishment for thinking he could sing better than the gods.
Part of me wants to keep doing research into the book's many themes; part of me wants to move on to Only Revolutions.

scowdich wrote:There's a couple versions of "The Five and a Half Minute Hallway" floating around YouTube.

They're not very good.

Yeah, I found one recently, and decided not to post about it (partly because it would have been a doublepost, and partly because it suuuuucccckkkked.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Alisto » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:40 pm UTC

katwingz18 wrote:I think it would be very, VERY difficult to make a movie out of House of Leaves


True, but they could make a film of The Navidson Record.

rrwoods wrote:part of me wants to move on to Only Revolutions.


Do yourself a favor; don't.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby trickster721 » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:36 pm UTC

It's definatly amazing and worth reading, but I'm not thrilled with the way it constructs this great solid abstract scifi premise and then breaks it down into Freudian nonesense and vauge morals on the nature of success and family relationships. Apparently a book isn't real literature unless it's not-so-secretly about marriage problems or something banal like that. In that sense, it's not as good as it sounds.

So pick it up, but don't expect it to really go anywhere in the third act. Cosmos it's not.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby rrwoods » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:38 pm UTC

trickster721 wrote:<snip>

Wait, House or Revolutions? You said "sci-fi", and from what I gather from the jacket, Revolutions has no sci-fi. I could be wrong though.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby katwingz18 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:44 am UTC

rrwoods wrote:Wait, House or Revolutions? You said "sci-fi", and from what I gather from the jacket, Revolutions has no sci-fi. I could be wrong though.

You are right. Revolutions has no sci-fi.

In fact, it has... not much of anything resembling a plot, really. If anything, it is more of a weirdly complicated poem than a novel.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby trickster721 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:15 am UTC

House of Leaves. I flipped through Only Revolutions at the store for about twenty seconds and then put it back on the shelf for good.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby aeiss » Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:24 am UTC

danielewski's said that he's not selling the movie rights while he's still alive
so i guess that's a good thing

it feels strange to see this topic here, full of activity, then go over to the houseofleaves.com forum, see barely activity, and posts dated 2001-2006, mostly
its feels sort of nostalgic..
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby katwingz18 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:50 am UTC

aeiss wrote:danielewski's said that he's not selling the movie rights while he's still alive

LOL that's awesome - it's like he's literally telling Hollywood "Over my dead body."
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby no-genius » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:14 am UTC

rrwoods wrote:
no-genius wrote:
rrwoods wrote:edit: It seems this book (or what would eventually become the book) had a cult internet following before it was published. Are the Hallway and Exposition videos available as clips anywhere?

AHHHAHAHAH!!!! The film isn't real! :P (or is it? :shock: )

Well, obv the film isn't real since this is a work of fiction; I get that. But the way the book is written (with the multiple levels of fictionality) and the internet following makes me think that maybe someone out there made clips; possibly that someone was the author himself. Which would be really cool. I mean hell, Zampano even comments that the Five and a Half Minute Hallway could have been faked by a beginning film student, why not actually fake it???

So the film isn't real, but Zampano is? :shock:
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby trickster721 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:53 pm UTC

Nothing is real but the book itself. There are no other editions. It was never on the internet.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby rrwoods » Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:42 pm UTC

trickster721 wrote:It was never on the internet.

Yes, it was.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby trickster721 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:49 am UTC

Danielewski saying it doesn't make it true.

Houseofleaves.com was registered september 1999, and the book was published in march 2000. Publishing takes a while, so that doesn't leave any time for a mysterious web manuscript to gather a following before the book was already finished and being printed. If it was notable before then, why didn't somebody grab the domain?

Obviously it's possible that he posted some exerpts on a writing forum somewhere, or something like that. But I don't believe it was some kind of mysterious cult phenomenon before it was published, the way the book itself suggests.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Nyarlathotep » Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:34 am UTC

I got it for my birthday

Wtf.

I'm on chapter VII. And Exploration I is the most genuinely creepy thing I've ever read in a book.

I have nightmares like this all the time. 'm not even joking - the place is one of the persistent places in my dreamscape, the Labyrinth. You can enter it merely by taking a wrong turn down a dark corridor.

Endless dark hallways that interconnect and defy physics and devour you...

Beside the point.

I am annoyed at Johnny, though. I understand the reason for his footnotes but I'm annoyed at him anyway - I don't give a fuck about Thumper, ok? I just don't. Shut up. x_X;
'Gehȳrst þū, sǣlida, hwæt þis folc segeð?
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby no-genius » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:00 pm UTC

I'll probably need to re-read this at some point. My advice: read the appendix when it tells you to.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby rrwoods » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:26 pm UTC

Nyarlathotep wrote:I am annoyed at Johnny, though. I understand the reason for his footnotes but I'm annoyed at him anyway - I don't give a fuck about Thumper, ok? I just don't. Shut up. x_X;

Some people do feel that way; for me, that feeling dissolved about halfway through. But I think most people either like the footnotes or all-out hate them.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby no-genius » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:22 pm UTC

If you don't like footnotes, you won't like this book :P

Spoiler:
Confession: I still basically have no idea what this book is about - I mean what its "really" about
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:27 pm UTC

The only level I really remember of the "real meaning" is

Spoiler:
a big old allegory for/embodiment of Derrida-esque deconstructionist literary criticism, the concept of language slippage, and the dance of the signifier and so forth.


But I imagine there are dozens of other layers of meaning, intended and unintended, present (in fact, most schools of literature that are worth a damn would guarantee that there are). I just fixated on that one because, the first time I read it, I had just finished a somewhat brain-bending "Approaches to Literature" class.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Jesse » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:19 pm UTC

Wow, sure would be nice if I could read this book, eh Jordan?
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Narsil » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:46 pm UTC

Belial wrote:The only level I really remember of the "real meaning" is

Spoiler:
a big old allegory for/embodiment of Derrida-esque deconstructionist literary criticism, the concept of language slippage, and the dance of the signifier and so forth.


But I imagine there are dozens of other layers of meaning, intended and unintended, present (in fact, most schools of literature that are worth a damn would guarantee that there are). I just fixated on that one because, the first time I read it, I had just finished a somewhat brain-bending "Approaches to Literature" class.
Sometimes I get the feeling that the book only makes you want to think it has a buch of layers, and it's only real meaning is as a mockery of literary analysis.

Other times, I think this is just another layer of the book.

Other times still, my head explodes.
Spoiler:
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:50 pm UTC

it's only real meaning is as a mockery of literary analysis


Mockery? Interesting. I never picked up on that. So many parts of it seemed more like an homage.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Narsil » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:58 pm UTC

Maybe a little of both. But you have to appreciate the humor in the world that Zampano imagined, where this movie caused everyone to stop what they are doing and analyze the hell out of "The Navidson Record". And of course he was blind and the movie is highly visual and the movie didn't actually exist at all, and the events he described never really happened.

So in short, he wrote a paper dissecting a film, and the paper turns out not to mean anything at all. You could also look at the structure of the book itself as a mockery of literary analysis, as the closer you look at it, the more questions arise about the story.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:06 pm UTC

When you consider that most postmodern literary criticism holds that meaning arises not from the truth of the story or the intent of the author, but only from what can be found in the text itself, all of those things are not really a mockery at all. They're a reinforcer, if anything.

Except that that only operates on one layer of the book and once you pull out all of those things are relevant again because they're included in the larger text and therefore they're part of the included meaning and....

::head explodes::
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Narsil » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:13 pm UTC

My conclusion exactly.
Spoiler:
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Nyarlathotep » Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:56 pm UTC

Personally, I've been seeing the book as an experiment in typography as a way of generating atmosphere. The different ways that the author presents the text, the sudden intrusions of the footnotes, the increasingly dissonant structure of the book... all this is rather brilliantly done and I feel the central point to the book. I'm not even sure the guy can actually WRITE that well - I find that both his supposedly classic style passages (Zampano's work) and his modernist/postmodernist stuff (Anything Johnny writes) are actually not that good. And indeed, sometimes what he's even SAYING isn't that interesting. I get more caught up in the presentation of the words themselves, the way that he has displayed this text and its interaction with what he is actually SAYING than I do in the prose itself. Which is, I think, this book's greatest strenth. You can go on all you want about satire of literary analysis - which I see present in it - or even the Lovecraftian nature of the story Zampano is telling - in the end I feel it comes down to the presentation.

Though perhaps this is simply my interpretation as an artist/writer. *shrugs*

I still say that I would -love- to see a Cthulhu Mythos tale done in this style - possibly even as narrative-within-narrative. The problem would be doing it without looking like one was blatantly ripping off this book...
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hī willað ēow tō gafole gāras syllan,
ǣttrynne ord and ealde swurd,
þā heregeatu þe ēow æt hilde ne dēah.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:59 pm UTC

Belial wrote:::head explodes::


Cleanup on aisle 4... Wait... House of Lea-
::head explodes::
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

Which is, I think, this book's greatest strenth. You can go on all you want about satire of literary analysis - which I see present in it - or even the Lovecraftian nature of the story Zampano is telling - in the end I feel it comes down to the presentation.


From where I'm sitting, they're all kindof part of each other. The interplay of structure and text, and the commentary on literary criticism especially, but also the lovecraftian horror. They're incredibly interconnected, almost to the point of being the same thing, which I thought was neat.

However, in order to explain that, I'd need to write about three pages and also read over the book again for specific passages, and also look up a few more names and treatises on criticism, and I can't be arsed right now.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby no-genius » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:17 am UTC

This book is like infinity; it doesn't do you any good to stare at it.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Narsil » Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:51 am UTC

I still can't tell if this book is brilliant or a massive practical joke. I think the finishing blow would be for Danielewski to pull a "Finnegan's Wake" on us and die before we ever know.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Nyarlathotep » Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:09 am UTC

Narsil wrote:I still can't tell if this book is brilliant or a massive practical joke. I think the finishing blow would be for Danielewski to pull a "Finnegan's Wake" on us and die before we ever know.


Both?
'Gehȳrst þū, sǣlida, hwæt þis folc segeð?
hī willað ēow tō gafole gāras syllan,
ǣttrynne ord and ealde swurd,
þā heregeatu þe ēow æt hilde ne dēah.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Narsil » Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:38 pm UTC

Maybe he scribbled in an "otter" option and selected that one.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby seifer » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:51 am UTC

Nyarlathotep wrote:.I'm not even sure the guy can actually WRITE that well - I find that both his supposedly classic style passages (Zampano's work) and his modernist/postmodernist stuff (Anything Johnny writes) are actually not that good. And indeed, sometimes what he's even SAYING isn't that interesting.


I'm really not sure if you meant this but, I think the point is that he is writing as johnny, and johnny isn't a good writer. He rambles, gets off track, and ultimately sometimes takes away from his purpose. and Zampano is a crazy old man. I think it's great that Danielewski wrote it all in 3 distinctive styles. I can't imagine, with the book layed out the way it is and all the time it took to weave in all those layers, that he didn't write 'poorly' on purpose to bring you more into it. That being said, I'm sure it's hard to write poorly if you are indeed a good writer.

I have a hard time thinking about the complete ramifications of the book even now. I even bought the book again (I had lent my original one to a friend and it got messed up... returned but messed up) and they had recently put out the full-color re-release and when i got it, it had select pages missing! not a chunk, but a page here, a page there. I compaired and they were some odd pages. I didn't return it just in case... well... just in case theres something to it lol.


Even though this is clearly off topic, there is another book by Danielewski called The Fifty Year Sword. Its not sold in the US but you can order it overseas. Check the houseofleaves.com forum for information on how to buy it. It's no longer in print I believe which is whys its hard to get... and why its $99 from amazon marketplace, but I hear its equally fantastic. A lot shorter, but still worth it. As for a summary of the book, i can not because I havent read it yet. Soon though.
If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid. ~Epictetus~
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby TheAmazingRando » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:45 am UTC

When I first heard about this book (must have been almost two years ago now) I just absolutely had to have it. Seriously, I read the description of it on wikipedia and immediately went to the bookstore and bought it.

It was well worth it, reading it again I can see that it really influenced me as a writer, and I find the whole enigmatic aspect of it absolutely fascinating. I've heard Only Revolutions isn't nearly as good, and that's really too bad. Danielewski is a good writer with some great ideas, he shouldn't have to write another gimmick to be read.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Military » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:51 am UTC

Don't Read the book, It causes intense fear, your only hope is that you will forget it, and I don't know how you could.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Actaeus » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:11 am UTC

Wow.
Ever since I read that book I've been wandering the streets alone, killing hobos and forum'ing from a laptop I found in a dumpster...
No, not really.

I have one (of many) question(s) about the book.
Spoiler:
What's the deal with the band? Wasn't that whole part of the story something Johnny made up?


Spoiler:
I also thought up a series of abstractions w/ the part about Tom's fingers:
1. Navidson's first-hand view of it
2. The story he told to Billy Reston
3. Reston's account in the interview
4. The film itself
5. Zampano's "analysis"
6. Johnny's transcription
7. The book's version of itself as an online book originating from Johnny
8. The obvious abstraction of the actual book by Danielewski

By the way, the fact that chunks of my copy of the heavy paperback were falling out only added to the experience.

Finally, a huge recommendation. Read House of Leaves. Seriously.
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Re: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:23 am UTC

My copy magically appeared on my shelf one day, with liner notes from a mysterious stranger. I only read it because a friend was in my room and he looked at my shelf and exclaimed "Dude you've read this! I've been meaning to!" to which a chill down my spine scared me into investigating. I've killed some hobo's too.

It may have just been my friend who placed the book though. But who knows.

I think the band was a real occurrence, meant by Danieleski to show the dissemination of information, and how once a body of work leaves the hands of the creator, it is out of their control, much like Navidsons documentary, and Zampano's collection.

Spoiler:
What got me all hot and bothered was the letters to his mother at the end, when theres some vague allusion to the idea that she has no son!!!! IS THE WHOLE THING LAYERS UPON LAYERS OF PSYCHOSIS CONJURED BY A WOMAN IN AN ASYLUM?!?! ARRRRRGHH!!! MUST!!! KILL!!! HOBO!!!
How many are the enemy, but where are they? Within, without, never ceases the fight.
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