0472: "House of Pancakes"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

Check With Requisitions
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:35 pm UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby Check With Requisitions » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:13 pm UTC

The reference to the book is cool. It's nice to see something so fervently loved given a twist in the nose.

I thought the book was really interesting while I read it, but saying I liked it would be stretching the truth. It's meaningless, and that's the point of the book, as it stacks unreliable narrator atop unreliable narrator until meaning is impossible. Johnny or the editors (or Johnny's mother, even, though if she's involved then the whole thing is just her crazed invention) could have changed any part of the text, itself an unreliable narration because it's talking about something that doesn't exist, just to make a better story (in one footnote, Johnny mentions that he's changed the text for better readability or something. The editors do the same thing, I think). It's cool to play all those games with colors and fake histories and footnotes, and I don't mean to discount Danielewski's talent for writing complex and interesting stories, but the lack of meaning in all that noise left me cold.

Sorry about the essay, it's just that I've had that on my chest for a while. I'd be happy to admit I misread it.

Tyler of Kalamazoo
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:59 pm UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby Tyler of Kalamazoo » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:10 pm UTC

Randy, (Provided you read this far)

Many wont understand why you made this, but I understand.

House of Leaves is quite pompous isn't it? It needs to be made fun of.

I'm having this made into a poster. I also know you want folks to read this book. Cruel! :D

For the Forum,

House of Leaves is not a work of fiction, it isn't meant to be critiqued on the grounds of literary criticism. There is an extremely specific reason why its ergodic.

House of Leaves starts as a difficult to read book, but turns into a puzzle. The reader sees this transition and can make three choices, stop reading, accept the puzzle, or pretend there wasn't a transition, and treat the book as fiction.

The true irony is, the more discussion about House of Leaves, the more people become trapped by it, never seeing the solution.

What is the solution?
Spoiler:
The book is the House of Leaves. By attempting to solve it, you walk its infinite labyrinth forever searching for the minotaur, not realizing you become the minotaur, by trying to understand an unsolvable puzzle.

On page 524, Navidson burns the last page of House of Leaves. This reduces the size of the labyrinth to zero, allowing Karin to find him.

Since the book in your hands, it is the same book that Navidson is reading, which is itself the puzzle, the only solution, is to realize, there is no solution, and stop trying to find one.

Like Navidson, I burned my copy.

User avatar
lesliesage
Posts: 1729
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 8:07 pm UTC
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby lesliesage » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:21 pm UTC

I feel like we should do something terrible hilarious with Randall's fingerprints.

reduviidae
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:24 pm UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby reduviidae » Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:44 pm UTC

I had to create an account just to say that this is the best comic ever.

How is this more esoteric than some of the math or programming jokes, I wonder?

User avatar
iPunchRaptors
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:45 pm UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby iPunchRaptors » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:48 pm UTC

House of Leaves is a truly awesome book, and I can't recommend it highly enough (unless you're under 15, pregnant, have an IQ lower than twenty point below the national mean, or it's likely to aggravate a stress or fear related condition).

And Tyler of Kalamazoo;
Spoiler:
Who said being the Minotaur was a bad thing?

cp123127
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:55 am UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby cp123127 » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:00 am UTC

There was, however, a slight mix up with the image title text when it was first posted resulting in some html being displayed to any unwitting visitor to the site that happened to mouse over the comic. HTML KILLS, guys. Please be more careful next time.

User avatar
radtea
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:57 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby radtea » Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:48 am UTC

Tyler of Kalamazoo wrote:
The true irony is, the more discussion about House of Leaves, the more people become trapped by it, never seeing the solution.

What is the solution?


If you're correct about the solution, the basic idea is recycled from a great novel of 30 years ago:
Spoiler:
Dhalgren


If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it, and you might increase the number of readers who actually get it from two to three. An Amazon reviewer gives a far more concise and lucid explanation of the book than I've ever been able to:
Spoiler:
"Spoiler warning: If you want to figure out the secret of the novel as you read Dhalgren, then stop reading this review right now! If you want to know the secret before you start, this is what the novel is about: the experience of existence inside a novel. Time passes differently for different characters. A river changes location. Stairs change their number. The Kid looks in a mirror and sees not himself, but someone who looks an awful lot like Samuel R. Delany. Central images include mirrors, lenses, and prisms, devices that focus, reflect--and distort. The Kid fills a notebook with a journal that may be Dhalgren, and is uncertain if he has written much, or any, of it. The characters don't know they're in a novel, but they know something is wrong."
Coming on Midsummer's Day to a Web Browser Near You: http://www.songsofalbion.com

User avatar
ErrantMind
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:21 pm UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby ErrantMind » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:03 am UTC

WelI I didn't find the book particullarly terrifying. Certionly engrossing and fun to decivher though. Like one of thos " Spot X things wrong with this picture" in book form. Ekcept subtler in origin and less acessable. Nothing at all like my heavy hand attempt.

Velociraptor
Vlociraptor
Vlocirapto
Locrapto
Lcrapt
Crap!

Despite my lack of faith this is still one of the more amusings xkcd strips.

Ridill
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:58 am UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby Ridill » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:00 am UTC

After reading the comments about this book in this thread, I went ahead and picked it up today.
I have a feeling I'm not the only person who did this, seeing as how it took 4 bookstores to find one that wasn't sold out.

User avatar
macronencer
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:57 am UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby macronencer » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:15 am UTC

Ridill wrote:After reading the comments about this book in this thread, I went ahead and picked it up today.
I have a feeling I'm not the only person who did this, seeing as how it took 4 bookstores to find one that wasn't sold out.


Heh. Randall should hire himself out as a marketing channel :wink:
I think those are crocodile tears: you must be in de Nile.

Caelasma
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:00 am UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby Caelasma » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:52 pm UTC

slothario wrote:The omission of a serial comma? Who gives a f*** about an oxford comma? :o

By the way, after my previous joke, I shouldn't be one to complain about obscure references, but this cartoon's a big inside joke. C'mon, what percentage of people out there have read that book.


alot of people. Lots of people in the music scene. Fall of Troy has a couple of songs (the holl[]y tape and "You got a death wish Johnny Truant?"), Animal Collective has Leaf House, Anthony Green of Circa Survive and Sounds of Animals Fighting is a fan of the book (as is the guitarist of Circa Survive, Brendan Ekstrom) and they have a hidden track on a CD unofficially titled "House of Leaves (Blues).

Now in the vein of creepiness and my praise for Randall: like I said in my previous post (if you can read it) I've been lost in my life for a couple of months, I stopped reading the book right before a specific character re-enters a specific area and experienced that same exact loss until, for some reason, I picked up the book again two days before this comic was posted. Eerie and yet, it makes me happy that Randall is currently in the same place as I am, (namely lost in hallways to the point that he had to devote a day to the House.)

Anyone who has not read it, if you do not have any urges to kill yourself already, I say go ahead and do it. Anyone suffering from severe depression should probably not read this book without medication.

Now to Only Revolutions: Equally amazing as House of Leaves, but in a different way. Mark Z Danielewski is not actually writing these books in my opinion, but something supernatural is writing the books through him. Watch interviews with him to understand what I mean, he doesn't even seem to understand why he writes them exactly, just that they have to be written. Only Revolutions is a love story, a very personal love story at that. Because it's written in a Stream of Consciousness / Poetic style it is not the easiest to understand the exact events in the book, but it speaks to you somehow and you understand what is going on. I don't recommend the "historical gutters" on the first read through because they won't make much sense at first and will only serve to confuse you and slow you down. Because of the poetic style, though, the book is very very personal and everyone sees the events in different ways.

I highly recommend both books (and maybe the audio CDs for Only Revolutions {which is actually how I'm reading it right now, as I had to return the book to the library} {he experience from the "audiobook"503.25 is also quite enjoyable separately from the book)

503.25 This is not a traditional Audiobook as it is read by Mark Z Danielewski for Sam and Alexis Madden with music by Danny Elfman. He also used submisions from fans in both the book and the Audiobook (voices or past memories they submitted via his forums). It's $50 in total so that's a little bit much, but if its affordable the audiobook is awesome (it's split into 5 $10 sections so that's a little easier.)

User avatar
arbivark
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 5:29 am UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby arbivark » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:36 am UTC

Take home exam:
Either
a) write and self-publish a book length version of House of Pancakes1
(hmm, this template doesn't have a color button? it used to. and what do these other [bibliography]buttons[/bibliography] do oh shi-) or
b) open a <blue>House</blue> of Pancakes in your neighborhood.
extra credit: do it as "house of straw", an illustrated kid's book.

1
I had just come back from ten days in the mountains. I went to the club, spent a lot, drank a lot, got many lap dances, got invited to a party, so I rode my bike home, grabbed my truck, drove to his house, but there was noone there, so I tried to think like a gaggle of drunk strippers, and drove to the IHOP, but it was all boarded up.
So when I saw this
mr_coffee wrote:The IHop less than a block away from me closed... I wonder if its a sign of the "end times".
I figured either IHOP, like starbucks, is retrenching, or this guy lives near me. Turned out to be the latter.

Jay Leno: Whaddaya mean she doesn't have international experience? She's only 50 miles from Russia, borders Canada, and she's spent a lot of time at the International House of Pancakes.
OK, Jay is no Randall. He's going for the LCD, as required by the medium.

I thought the comic was funny, but it obviously was referencing something I didn't get, so I logged into the forum, first time in awhile. Good thread.
A fictional story about a guy who finds, at his dead neighbor's, a review of a film that doesn't exist?
Stanislaw Lem wrote a book of reviews of nonexistent movies. Lem reminds me of Borges, and that other guy, who am I thinking of?
Pencils down.

mikbeth
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:19 am UTC
Contact:

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby mikbeth » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:44 am UTC

I just had to mention, that I just ifinished reading this book like last week, and it's been out for eight years. Weird

User avatar
irelocus
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:43 am UTC
Location: -117.25262, 33.37059
Contact:

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby irelocus » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:35 pm UTC

Well, it was this comic that got me here. I read HOL for the third time recently and was sort of google-drifting (like the endless wikipedia link clicking) when I came across the comic.

I'd recommend anything by Danielewski, including Only Revolutions, his newer book. Lots of codes and puzzles (that have answers!) to figure out in that book, unlike House, which is an inescapable labyrinth.

Anyway, I'm still working through the archives of comics, I hope to get into the discussions more soon.

im.christophermatthew
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:19 am UTC

Far reaches of XKCD

Postby im.christophermatthew » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:33 am UTC

So while walking to the library to pick up House of Leaves. I was thinking. How many X*D readers decided to start reading -- or in my case finish House of Leaves. Then, as any self respecting connoisseur of all things google I decided to Google Trends the terms [House of Leaves] and [Danielewski]. There was a pretty big peak around September 4th. Pretty interesting or, maybe not. Anyway, thought I would share it.

Chris

User avatar
macronencer
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:57 am UTC

Re: Far reaches of XKCD

Postby macronencer » Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:25 pm UTC

im.christophermatthew wrote:So while walking to the library to pick up House of Leaves. I was thinking. How many X*D readers decided to start reading -- or in my case finish House of Leaves. Then, as any self respecting connoisseur of all things google I decided to Google Trends the terms [House of Leaves] and [Danielewski]. There was a pretty big peak around September 4th. Pretty interesting or, maybe not. Anyway, thought I would share it.

Chris


I'm not surprised. After the comments I read here, I ordered a copy (full-colour, I'm glad to say). I have just read about 1/10 of it in one day, and my best description of the experience is that I feel as if I'm being prepared for something nasty, stripped emotionally naked and left defenceless. The sense of foreboding is tangible.

I am a staunch sceptic (skeptic, if you will - tsk you Americans...) and even deliberately sleep in haunted places just to find, time after time, that nothing happens (for me, at least). But tonight, I nevertheless found myself in one of those strange coincidences where the story appears to be leaking from the book and into my own life.

Inexplicably, my index finger felt as if a splinter had got in it all of a sudden, though all I had been doing was holding the book for the last hour. Two pages later, the feeling was still there, and I encountered a certain passage describing something nasty and metaphorical about splinters. I have to admit I went rather pale and looked around the room in a state of anxiety, not to say fear. This was about 20 minutes ago, and the feeling is still there. I've scratched at my finger, examined it, squeezed it, but can't find a real splinter.

What IS this thing??! :shock:
I think those are crocodile tears: you must be in de Nile.

User avatar
reaper01134
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:51 am UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby reaper01134 » Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:39 pm UTC

Ridill wrote:After reading the comments about this book in this thread, I went ahead and picked it up today.
I have a feeling I'm not the only person who did this, seeing as how it took 4 bookstores to find one that wasn't sold out.

yeah im pretty sure that most, if not all xkcd readers who read the House of Leaves comic, went out, researched it to be able to understand it, laugh, then go to the nearest library and check it out (or buy it). great stuff by the by.
Michael Scott: Did you know that gay used to mean 'happy?' When I was growing up, it meant 'lame.' And now, it means a man who makes love to other men. We're all homos. Homo sapiens.

Netrilix
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:54 am UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby Netrilix » Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:23 am UTC

I ordered House of Leaves the day I read this comic. It came last Wednesday325, and I've already finished it (I would have been done far sooner, but I went to visit a friend this weekend and left the book at my house (I'm not sure if the coloring on this strike out is correct (should house be colored blue even if in a red strikeout (I should probably end these parent)he)se)s).

325A guess. I haven't kept track of time in a while. Does it matter?326
326Probably not.

92Ɛ˙ʞɔnʃ ǝɯɐs ǝɥʇ ǝʌɐɥ ʃʃ,noʎ ǝqʎɐW ˙ʇı pɐǝɹ I ʞǝǝʍ ǝɥʇ ƃuıɹnp ƃuıʃǝǝɟ ʇɐɥʇ ǝʌɐɥ I pıp ǝɔuo ʇoN ˙ʇɐɥʇ ɟo pıɹ ʇoƃ ʞooq sıɥʇ ʍoɥǝɯos ʇǝʎ pu∀ ˙ǝsnoɥ uʍo ʎɯ uı uǝʌǝ 'sʎɐʍʃʃɐɥ uʍop ƃuıoƃ sʃʃɐʍ ǝɥʇ oʇ ʞɔɐq ʎɯ dǝǝʞ I pɐq os s,ʇI ˙ʇɥƃıu ʇɐ ǝɯ puıɥǝq s,ʇɐɥʍ ɟo pǝıɟıɹɹǝʇ ɯ,I 'ʎʃʃɐuosɹǝԀ ˙ǝuoʎɹǝʌǝ oʇ ʞooq sıɥʇ puǝɯɯoɔǝɹ I 'ʎɐʍʎu∀

User avatar
macronencer
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:57 am UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby macronencer » Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:58 am UTC

Netrilix, you win the prize. Nicely done!

My story is a little like yours. Ordered the book, got it late last week (Friday? Not sure), finished it (well, sort of) last night. I still have the Whalestoe letters to read, and if MZD thinks I'm actually going to read every word of those ridiculous lists of architectural examples he can boil his head, but apart from that, I'm done.

Really enjoyed the experience in many ways, but it's going to take a while before it all sinks in. I expect there is plenty of meaning that I missed, though I spotted quite a few things that were not obvious. Parts of it scared me slightly, but it didn't mess up my brain like some people say it does. Maybe I'm too old and have seen too many horror movies. Put it this way, I didn't need to sleep with the light on at any point while reading this! That said, I loved and relished the style of the horrific passages.

As another poster here commented, there are clues in the book that cast doubt on its documentary nature, and I felt a little unsatisfied because it's just slightly TOO obviously fiction. But I'll probably read it again.

I don't know why, but I half-expected to find a spoof entry for The Navidson Record on IMDB, and was slightly miffed that it didn't turn up :)
I think those are crocodile tears: you must be in de Nile.

tmesis
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:25 pm UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby tmesis » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:26 am UTC

Netrilix wrote:I ordered House of Leaves the day I read this comic. It came last Wednesday325, and I've already finished it


Ah, but did you figure out the code on page 633?

Noxonomus
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:13 am UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby Noxonomus » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:50 am UTC

Caelasma wrote:
slothario wrote:The omission of a serial comma? Who gives a f*** about an oxford comma? :o

By the way, after my previous joke, I shouldn't be one to complain about obscure references, but this cartoon's a big inside joke. C'mon, what percentage of people out there have read that book.


alot of people. Lots of people in the music scene. Fall of Troy has a couple of songs (the holl[]y tape and "You got a death wish Johnny Truant?"), Animal Collective has Leaf House, Anthony Green of Circa Survive and Sounds of Animals Fighting is a fan of the book (as is the guitarist of Circa Survive, Brendan Ekstrom) and they have a hidden track on a CD unofficially titled "House of Leaves (Blues).




POE did an entire album (Haunted) based on the book, she is MZDs sister though so her having read it isn't exactly surprising. I will always remember the time that I was in a grocery store and they started playing the song Hey Pretty, I think I had a stupid grin on my face even if it wasn't the version with MZDs monotone narration about sex.

grocer
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:23 am UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby grocer » Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:37 am UTC

I missed the reference but got the joke...I was thinking House of Wax or Psycho or The Shining...horror associated with buildings. As someone who has a bad experience everytime they've eaten at IHOP, this seems somehow appropriate.

User avatar
Beautiful_Solace
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:59 am UTC
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby Beautiful_Solace » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:23 am UTC

when i first saw this comic i was in the middle of reading House of Leaves so i found it to be all the more amusing
"Mother is God in the eyes of a child"
-Silent Hill

User avatar
Rufaellie
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:00 pm UTC
Location: Something only has location compared to something else.

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby Rufaellie » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:46 am UTC

I just started reading it and am enjoying every word. It is like a logician's Alice In Wonderland, although that I'm sure if I was a logician I would not enjoy reading Alice In Wonderland as much as I do. That being said House of Leaves is brilliant in the extreme. And Randall is brilliant in the extreme for telling me about it.
Rufaellie wrote:I think at least twice.

Tuxie
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:17 pm UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby Tuxie » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 pm UTC

FIrst time poster. XKCD and this thread made me ask my family to get the book as a christmas present. And sure enough, they got it for me.

I read the book in three days. I wish i XXXXXX.

enhazed
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:47 am UTC

Re: "House of Pancakes" Discussion

Postby enhazed » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:12 am UTC

Brilliant coincidence. I started reading HOL around the same time i started reading xkcd (no idea about the pop culture relevance of either one). Saw a few comics then went back and started from no. 1. Got the book from a library because I'm researching ergodic(s)(?).
I'm half way through the book, I put it down around midnight and read xkcd till i get to no. 472. And i see this.
It takes a while. I stop laughing.
Start breathing. Wake my girlfriend (yes. sadly). Then use caps on every poor soul online in my friends list (4.51 AM). Then i register an account and write a pointless comment, because there's nothing else left to do. Please, someone, acknowledge my utter surprise, shock and amusement.
Many thanks, guy who makes xkcd472.
You've made the internet a weirder, if not smaller, place for me.

__________________________________
472I love the comic. More or less jokingly, I've told all my friends that it pretty much stands for most of the stuff i probably think, regarding almost everything. Still, I try not to be a fanboy. If I click that "about" link it'll never stop. It's bad enough I ended up on the forum.
No, seriously. It's great.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 33 guests