Dear Mrs. Sample

Dear Mrs.  Sample,

I feel you are actually asking two different questions here, because while The Navidson Record may not (and probably is not) be real, I’m not sure that the author’s intention of fabricating the film was to “write an unusual book.” I think all authors want to write something new and unique, but I don’t think that was Danielewski’s only goal in writing House of Leaves.

I do think Danielewski is trying to get his readers to ask the questions you have posed, though. It definitely seems like he wants to blur the lines of what is real and what isn’t real. For example, there are many fabricated footnotes and quotes in the book, but the people who spoke them are real. Also, the book refers to a Pulitzer-prize winning photograph of a dying Sudanese girl that is in fact a real photograph that won an award.

I also think he wants us to question why he wrote the book the way he did. If, in fact, it was just “to be unusual” or to raise thought-provoking questions (many of them abound the pages of the book), or to call attention to the role film and other newer forms of media have played in interpretation of real life and fiction.

Good luck in finding answers to your questions!

Caitlin McKenzie