Use Of Authenticity In Mark Z. Danielewski's House Of Leaves

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The specific creative element of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves which seems to hold to the heart of the entire novel is the element of “authenticity.” While thousands of definitions exist for the word “authenticity,” the word creates an intriguing debate between fans and critics of House of Leaves and their perceived definition of the novel’s “authenticity.” To debate “authenticity” is not really so much dependent on its definition as much as its methodology based upon its definition. The most socially accepted “authenticity” methodology is that of something being comprised of factual information. As the Oxford English Dictionary’s primary definition of the word “authenticity” states that “authenticity” is “the fact or quality of being…show more content…
With the painting and the novel, the idea presented in the painting is equivalent to the idea of the Navidson house and everything that follows via Zampanò and Johnny Truant. Both are authentic ideas that are genuine to the style of their creator (the painter and Danielewski respectively) and display the tertiary definition of authenticity. For House of Leaves, Danielewski’s use of footnotes and additional footnotes are part of his own ‘medium’ as well as part of his style of experimental creative writing. For the other methodology of “authenticity” which follows the primary definition, there is the comparison between the factual information of the painting to verify its “authenticity” and the false data used by Danielewski to create the storylines of the novel and which are used by Danielewski to create a mock sense of “authenticity.” The effect of Danielewski’s work towards implied but falsified “authenticity” by using the footnotes and the like as part of his medium based “authenticity” combines similarly with the ideas of “authenticity” that can be derived from the hypothesized painting where both the medium/style of the painter in combination with the factual data of the painting (its origins, the type of paint, etc.). With the comparison of the contexts, it can be clarified that two forms of “authenticity” exist and also fail to exist within Danielewski’s House of Leaves, both of which are available to critics and fans alike of the novel of experimental fiction. However, the false “authenticity” in relation to the primary definition that is partially existent in the novel can be linked to a very genuine phenomenon of “authenticity” within the real world which thus creates an additional level of believability and thus “authenticity” for Danielewski’s

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