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Echo 
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Post Echo
Why do you think Zampano spent so much time explaining the history and concept of echo?


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Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:43 am
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I think that the concept of echo and the myth of Echo play an important part in conceptualizing the expanding space within the house. On the one hand, an echo is a physical and yet ethereal presence. He spent some time, for example, describing the importance of echos (reverberations, actually) in recordings and in the large space within churches and temples. The presence of reverberations and echos act as descriptions of space - of ‘largeness’ and how our senses perceive it. On the other hand, it gives rise to thoughts of ghosts and past events in possession of some space.

There’s an ‘otherworldliness’ in echos, and a seeming presence in them. Our own echos fascinate us as children, and many people cannot seem to restrain themselves from playing with them when in a large space - either inside or outside. I may not as yet fully grasp his real purpose in spending so much time and space to thoroughly explore echos (although there is a pleasurable corollary in that fact - echos are inhabitants of time and space, as he points out.)

I’m beginning to warm up to the notion that Zampano is an obsessive-compulsive personality. He needs to lay down solid foundations on which to build his theories. This may only be a reflection of Danielewski’s own thinking, or it may be an intentional characterization. Perhaps strangely, I rather enjoy his in-depth digressions. Likely because it reminds me of some part of my own being. More to the point is that he wants us to have a clear and detailed understanding of the physical and psychological aspects of echos. The myth (or myths, as he presents two alternates) of Echo also seems important. She had become a disembodied voice, only able to repeat the last words spoken to her at any given time, and she’d gone mad. An allegory for the House?

I suspect that the concepts presented are important to understanding what is about to come. There be dragons and the willies in there somewhere.



Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:30 am
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Thisis a very interestin and well thought out reply. Does anyone else feel differntly, or does everyone agree?


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Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:44 am
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I like the point that is mentioned in the echo section of the book, how some echoes, because they only repeat the last part of a word, can change the meaning entirely of the original statement. This to me is a correlation to how the house seems to take each individual who enters the cold space and twist their thoughts into an echo that isn't quite what they expected.



Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:21 am
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That's an excellent point, poettess. I haven't as yet read far enough to have noticed it. (Or perhaps I missed the correlation.) But I now recall at the end of Chapter 5 on page 73, the scene in which Navidson is playing with his daughter. She asks him to play a game called "always," and he asks what it is, but does not wait for an answer.

The last two lines on that page are:
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Then again, "always" slightly mispronounces "hallways".
It also echos it.


I wonder if I've missed a previous example.



Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:05 am
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That is an excellent example of what I was talking about, but later on it does get more twisted and moves into a distortion of thought instead of just words.



Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:11 am
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