Thanks for indulging and doing more pertinent, hands-on research, ducknerd! I didn’t even look at Spectrum specifically, silly me!
I think Danielewski is doing things with upside-down text (and every other direction), it’s just a lot subtler than… oh, wait. Every single page of Only Revolutions has “upside-down text” on it. :p
Which actually makes all of this a lot more “acceptable” to the skeptic; on every page, depending on where you are in the story, and how you’re holding the book, you’re seeing approximately half of the visible letters upside-down. That some of them might get jostled in the constant rotation is only logical.
In a certain way, I think that the Reader’s manipulation isn’t constrained by the rules of the text. Maybe, maybe, and it may turn out that all valuable substitutions just move around the particles which are already there. But, again, I think it’s about the spaces between, which aren’t confined by math and meter.
SNOW something doesn’t mean he didn’t think about it. The Concordance goes a long way toward suggesting that what “isn’t here” is actually really important; technically the contents of the Concordance are in the book, and what we actually have to look for is what’s not written anywhere inside, whether in the body, the endpapers, or anywhere else. More importantly, just because it’s not explicitly included doesn’t mean that it’s not relevant; in my personal estimation, the things we Readers are able to develop and mutate are potentially just as valuable as the original text.
Awfully serf-centered of me, I know.
And, as should be assumed at this point, everything in the text is at least as important as what might be omitted but stilll relevant. And vice versa. It’s not about “the answer” or “the secret,” it’s about what the entire system adds up to. Which is, I think, the point of House of Leaves, too, and why everybody still grinding away at that book by its lonesome, looking for bone keys and secret staircases, is bound to wind up right back where they started. Or allone somewhere in the dark, worse off than when they started. And, by extension, why so many die-hard HoLiers are so put off or nonplussed by OR. The suggestion that the pursuit of one magic component is fruitless, and symptomatic to boot.
I don’t mean to pick a fight. I mean to share the joy of discovery. And get those folks some vitamin D.
So, why did MZD avoid MONS? Maybe he wanted you to find it. And tell it to me and everybody else. And now every time I see the Mountain, or Snow, I’m going to think about MONS. And you have now mutated and, in my estimation, added to the experience of the book. Thanks.
I’m interested that you mention psychedelia; the Wikipedia article’s first paragraph defines that as
The term psychedelic is derived from the Greek words ψυχή (psyche, “soul”) and δηλοῦν (deloun, “to manifest”), translating to “mind-manifesting”. A psychedelic experience is characterized by the perception of aspects of one’s mind previously unknown, or by the creative exuberance of the mind liberated from its ostensibly ordinary fetters. Psychedelic states are an array of experiences elicited by various techniques, including sensory stimulation, sensory deprivation as well as by psychedelic substances. Such experiences include hallucinations, changes of perception, synesthesia, altered states of awareness, mystical states, and occasionally states resembling psychosis.
Which, actually, soul- or mind-manifesting might be exactly the terrain we’re navigating here. The creation of a film by way of reading; the creation of two “people” just by following the words they project while passing. Colors becoming letters becoming something else entirely.
The effects of their wave. I mean wake.
Do you see any other pertinent swaps in the text? What other upside-downs would you have included?
Somewhere in the middle I noted “Massaging our feet,” when twirled, becomes “Messaging our feat." Which I like.
Oh, and g’lord I forgot to mention (my notes are extensive and a real mess):
“wheel” swaps to “wheal” which becomes “weal,” the past tense of which is “Welt” which is the German for “World” (and also part of a shoe(!!!)) which comes back around to rhyming with “whirled” and WA-BAM that is awesome. Implicit rhyme and homophonymism is just as much a part of the play here.