Follow posts tagged #mark z. danielweski in seconds.Sign up
“Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.”—Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves
“Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep. And when at last it is over, there is no evidence: no weapon, no blood, and no body. The only clue might be the shadows beneath your eyes or a terribly thin line near the corner of your mouth indicating something has been suffered, that in the privacy of your life you have lost something and the loss is too empty to share." ”—“House of Leaves”, Mark Z. Danielewski
Mark Z. Danielewski (author of House of Leaves) on fear:
I’ll simplify: anger is always a result of fear. Period. Anger is one way to respond to fear. I say one way because responses are categorically multiple.
Now you may know someone who says he’s never been afraid. (I say “he” because typically—though this is not always the case—men are the ones willing to make such a ridiculous claim.) Well if you ask this guy if he’s ever been angry, he’ll probably say sure. Hell, he’ll probably brag about it. But if you’re angry, you’re afraid. I don’t care if it’s road rage or a response to a parental barb or how strange a new book looks. If you felt the stir of anger, something scared you.
Of course all this is not earth-shattering stuff. It’s as old as the hills. But sometimes this knowledge gets misplaced. The rush anger gives us, the sense of power and possibility, is so powerful we forget the origins. We forget that we’re really high on the product of our own internal chemical lab. It’s a pretty sophisticated lab too.
So I’m encouraged by the trend towards Smart Horror because it suggests on a cultural level that there’s a desire to get past the Anger Response and deal with a much more heroic question: what am I afraid of? And why? And how should I respond?
After all, maybe what we’re so frightened of will turn out to be nothing more than a dark, empty room. Then again, maybe it won’t.
“When revisiting places we once frequented as children, it is not unusual to observe how much smaller everything seems. The experience has too often been attributed to the physical differences between a child and adult. In fact is has more to do with the epistemological dimensions than with bodily dimensions; knowledge is hot water on wool. It shrinks time and space.”—House of Leaves
You’ll be sick or feeling troubled or deeply in love or quietly uncertain or even content for the first time in your life. It won’t matter. Out of the blue, beyond any cause you can trace, you’ll suddenly realize things are not how you perceived them to be at all. For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You’ll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you’ll realize it’s always been shifting, like a shimmer of sorts, a vast shimmer, only dark like a room. But you won’t understand why or how. You’ll have forgotten what granted you this awareness in the first place.
Old shelters—television, magazines, movies—won’t protect you anymore. You might try scribbling in a journal, on a napkin, maybe even in the margins of this book. That’s when you’ll discover you no longer trust the very walls you always took for granted. Even the hallways you’ve walked a hundred times will feel longer, much longer, and the shadows, any shadow at all, will suddenly seem deeper, much, much, deeper.
You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You’ll care only about the darkness and you’ll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you’re some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you’ll be afraid to look away, you’ll be afraid to sleep.
Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you’ll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You’ll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you’ll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you’ve got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name.’
- House Of Leaves