House of Leaves is both a love letter to the written word and a demonstration of its inadequacies, a cautionary tale, a horror story, a romance, a bildungsroman, an eloquent mockery of literary criticism, and much else besides. It incorporates postmodern poly-vocal framing techniques, which are sort of a literary version of Russian nesting dolls, if the dolls all talked to each other and one was a pathological liar and one was claustrophobic and one denied the existence of any other dolls (but even if there were other dolls, this one would tell you, they're all crazy anyway). Granted, it's not a perfect analogy, but it's about as close as anyone's going to get, because House of Leaves is a novel that defies easy description, categorization or genre stereotypes.


Arts and Humanities