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May 26, 2017

Book Notes - Michael Seidlinger "Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves"

Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

In Michael J. Seidlinger's contribution to Ig Publishing's Bookmarked series, he offer impressive insight into Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves as well as his own writing process.

Shelf Awareness wrote of the book:

"In this addition to Ig Publishing's Bookmarked series, in which authors reflect on books that have shaped their lives and careers, Seidlinger hurls himself through a personal maze of self-reflection, literary influences and a writing process as winding and wondrous as Danielewski's house. As Seidlinger processes the novel chapter by chapter, each new element sends him on long, frequently footnoted discourses about his journey as a writer that are as heartfelt as they are illuminating. Fans of House of Leaves and those interested in behind-the-scenes glimpses of the creative process will enjoy this volume of Bookmarked."

In his own words, here is Michael J. Seidlinger's Book Notes music playlist for his book Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves:

My contribution to Ig Publishing's Bookmarked series, a volume on House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, turned into (or should I say derailed into?) an exploration about both my own writing process and writer's block, particularly the latter. When Robert Lasner approached me about writing a book for the series, I was suffering from one of my longest bouts of writer's block I've ever experienced; I was drinking a lot, depressed, and quite delusional about my personal life (whereas professionally, CCM, work, and the many many moving parts that I maintain continued unabated; few recognized truly how depressed I was).

The exploration resulted in a lot of whining and rambling about what it means to write, writing rituals, and more. One ritual I didn't explore as much as I should have in the book itself is the importance of music. I can't write without noise-cancelling headphones and a nice playlist. So, for this foray into Book Notes, I figure I'd offer up a playlist that has worked tremendously well for clearing out the rust, warming up those creative juices, and getting the words flowing out onto the page. These are songs I've written to, am writing to, and/or will one day be the soundtrack to what I write.

Notice anything? Yeah, I can't write to anything with vocals. If I hear and understand the words, it takes me right out of the rhythms of writing. Lots of esoteric instrumentals, post-rock/post-metal, chillout, etc.

Michael Seidlinger and Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book

Shelf Awareness review

Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for Falter Kingdom
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for The Fun We've Had
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for The Strangest
The Rumpus interview with the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

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Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

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guest book reviews
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Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
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