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The Whalestoe Letters

The Whalestoe Letters By Mark Z. Danielewski The Whalestoe Letters Between and Pelafina H Li vre sent her son Johnny Truant a series of letters from The Three Attic Whalestoe Institute a psychiatric facility in Ohio where she spent the final years of he

  • Title: The Whalestoe Letters
  • Author: Mark Z. Danielewski
  • ISBN: 9780375714412
  • Page: 425
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Whalestoe Letters By Mark Z. Danielewski Between 1982 and 1989, Pelafina H Li vre sent her son, Johnny Truant, a series of letters from The Three Attic Whalestoe Institute, a psychiatric facility in Ohio where she spent the final years of her life Beautiful, heartfelt, and tragic, this correspondence reveals the powerful and deeply moving relationship between a brilliant though mentally ill mother and the precoBetween 1982 and 1989, Pelafina H Li vre sent her son, Johnny Truant, a series of letters from The Three Attic Whalestoe Institute, a psychiatric facility in Ohio where she spent the final years of her life Beautiful, heartfelt, and tragic, this correspondence reveals the powerful and deeply moving relationship between a brilliant though mentally ill mother and the precocious, gifted young son she never ceases to love.Originally contained within the monumental House of Leaves, this collection stands alone as a stunning portrait of mother and child It is presented here along with a foreword by Walden D Wyhrta and eleven previously unavailable letters.
    The Whalestoe Letters By Mark Z. Danielewski

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    One thought on “The Whalestoe Letters

    1. Melissa on said:

      For I shall be just the same, standing by, like some old still growing tree, her rustle lost in fall but found again come spring And of course you can lean on me You can hide in me too High above And when you are tired and wish to close your eyes you can rest in me I will not let go.Remember I shall be your roots and I will be your shade though the sun burns my leaves I shall quench your thirst and I will feed you fruit though time takes my seed And when you are lost and can tell nothing of thi [...]

    2. Mike on said:

      It s impossible to talk about this without involving House of Leaves, since a good 80% of the material here reprints one of its appendices, and while the letters stand on their own to a certain degree, many of their implications only reach their fullest bloom in the light of the larger work With that said, one s assessment of the letters depends a whole lot on how one feels about HoL I d put myself on the moderately obsessed side of the spectrum, having read the thing twice and developed my own [...]

    3. Andrew on said:

      I felt a bit foolish picking this up at first, seeing it as an unnecessary companion piece to the novel House of Leaves, especially considering that the vast majority of the material contained inside is present in the original book In spite of that, it does what it does remarkably well Anyone familiar with the original novel will understand me when I say that the author leaves details murky at best what The Whalestoe Letters does is force a closer look at P s writing some of the most emotionally [...]

    4. Jerry Jose on said:

      I definitely didn t expect something like this from a companion novella to House of Leaves This was elegant, beautiful and heart breaking At the same time, it made sense and stirred confusion with the open endings and interpretations This is a series of letters from Truant s mom addressed to him, over her years at the asylum It doesn t really matter whether you read it before or after HoL, or as a standalone It will destroy you It s painful, gets visceral by the end yet serves as a powerful anci [...]

    5. Toonerdygirls on said:

      I loved HOL, but this is the book that I would read and reread Thrown in my book bag, worming its way into my head for a college art final She feels so much, of course she was locked up When people say this is the heart and soul of the book, I agree It s heartbreaking, even on its own Both her story and Johnny truant s have a lot of nuances, so I don t see people who prefer straight forward books liking this.

    6. Candace Andrews on said:

      The Whalestoe Letters is a short epistolary novel 83 pages long , which is whole unto itself however, these letters were originally published as part of Danielewski s much longer novel, House of Leaves over 650 pages The narrator of The Whalestoe Letters is Pelafina H Li vre, and the entire book consists of a series of letters to her son Johnny Truant while she is a patient at The Three Attic Whalestoe Institute, a psychiatric facility in Ohio Johnny Truant, Pelafina s son, is in foster care thr [...]

    7. Traummachine on said:

      3.5 starsThis book is a series of letters sent from a mother in an asylum to her son, the protagonist in House Of Leaves Until recently, I thought this was all included as an appendix in House, but this stand alone version adds 11 new letters and a Forward about the mother and how the new letters surfaced.For House Of Leaves fans, I can t say these additions are a must read, but the back of Whalestoe calls out which letters are the 11 new ones, and looking back on them they definitely fill out t [...]

    8. Lauren Ray on said:

      The thing here is that I ve already reviewed House of Leaves, and this book, almost in its entirety, is included in the appendix of House.Where I will give this book props, though, is in the additional introduction There are also several additional letters, but they weren t missed in the House copy, so I didn t really see them as necessary Interesting, perhaps, but not necessary.It s a good read and a good story that stands firmly on its own, so I would definitely recommend it It is lacking in m [...]

    9. Jake on said:

      I get it I get what this was I get this was a companion piece to House Of Leaves But it stressed me the fuck out It s just letters from Johnny s mom from her mental institution as she s straight up losing it, and as my mother s guilt trips get me crazy and losing her would make me crazy, this just hit the weirdest, most awful nerves I have inside me It just shook my heart It affected me in the most poisonous, saddest way It was well written, but what it is, even in its most basic terms, is such [...]

    10. Mark Stone on said:

      Also scattered throughoutHouse of Leaves, these are the letters of Johnny Truant s mother, written from the institution Whalestone where she lived, from the day she tried to kill her son to the day she died The letters are wonderful and strange, drifting in and out of sanity Johnnt Truant s mother may not know she is insane, she may not remember trying to kill him, but in her way, she loves her son above anything else in the world.In House of Leaves, the Whalestone Letters advance Johnny Truant [...]

    11. Jeremiah Diaz on said:

      Mark Danielewski, true to his nature, makes you work for it It does not come easy and despite my hatred for gimmicky writing, in the end, the chills were enough to satisfy without overdoing it It was creepy enough as a companion to The House of Leaves, but add the Work element into it no, I will not elaboratead it yourself , and the revelations are stunning.

    12. Terri on said:

      This was a fascinating and sad book Told via letters from a schizophrenic woman to her son, they tell a story in an emotionally rewarding way.

    13. Nikolas Kalar on said:

      I read most of these letters some years ago in the mothership work House of Leaves I loved them then and I love them now Pelafina may be the most coherent moment of Danielewski s monumental masterwork of a debut, and she is, in fact, a character in a mental facility.These letters are short, sweet, beautiful, frightening, sorrowful, dolorous, and yearning To the very depth of everything, a human can be And Pelafina writes them so wonderfully, theatrically, full of life and strewn with humanity th [...]

    14. Craig Page on said:

      Most of this was in the appendix of Leaves, but there were by themselves I picked it up because I wanted to research epistolary stories for Letters to Maggie, and I really enjoyed this This is a look at a clearly brilliant and expressive woman who is mentally unstable I looked at these letters, what was being said and unsaid, at the fixation on this woman s son that bordered between deification and incestuous This reminded me of people I ve worked with, that I d studied in grad school It s powe [...]

    15. Kelli Howard on said:

      I really enjoyed watching the rise and fall of her sanity The letters were well written and the story entertaining I loved loved pages 46 48

    16. Sarah on said:

      I read the lot of these in the House of Leaves So although I haven t read this edition exactly, I can say that the mother is a beautiful figure Even if clearly declining in mental stability Her words are so eloquent and rich I felt so much love for her son After the craziness of that book, her backstory with Johnny gave me comfort As odd as that it too say.

    17. Jacquline on said:

      Most of the Whalestoe Letters were taken from The House of Leaves It was included in the appendix because it gave readers inside on Johnny Truant, the man who edited The Navidson Record Truant was troubled and had some demons, and from this book, it all became clear why he was the way he was His mother was locked up in an institute because she tried to choke her son to death and she also spilled burning oil all over his arms, causing him to have scars for the rest of his life His mother is menta [...]

    18. Sarah - Six Blue Marbles on said:

      There s not much to say on this book since most of it is featured in House of Leaves I enjoyed reading Dr Whyrta s introduction which once again adds questions to who the real narrator of the story is and the additional letters from Pelafina because it gives readers a bit insight into her character How were eleven letters found that were unsent, especially since they aren t from the same year but are spaced out with the ones she did manage to send to Johnny or did she I didn t look for Pelafin [...]

    19. Jon on said:

      This is a companion book to House of Leaves, consisting of nothing but the letters written by Pelafina to Johnny Although I m unaware of all of the various editions of House of Leaves, I imagine most come with the vast majority of these letters in the appendices at the back of the book In terms of extra content, I think there are only around six letters included here that aren t published in the parent text.I wouldn t say that this book is particularly necessary, but as I found myself studying a [...]

    20. Mike Mcconnell on said:

      Included as an appendix in the much bigger House of Leaves, The Whalestoe Letters are letters to Johnny Truant from his mother.As with much of House of Leaves there are two sides to what you re reading While the letters do inform on the relationship between Johnny and his mother there are also cryptic messages hidden within the typeset and the presentation All of which feeds into the idea that Johnny s mother is unstable mad crazy, however you wish to put it.Read on their own they present themse [...]

    21. Dillon Ashcroft on said:

      I enjoyed this addition to House of Leaves It is interesting for a few reasons But the most I think, is that it attempts to disprove a few theories that emerged after House of Leaves came out that the author of the book was in fact Truant s crazy mother By showing it s not leaves other readings completely available, and makes House of Leaves grounded.There is the other possibility that this work could just be viewed as Danielewski has spent too much time reading his own reviews and interpretati [...]

    22. Derliebefloh on said:

      I don t know if it is possible to fully appreciate the depth and work that must have gone into this without reading House of Leaves as well It is definitely than just a companionpiece to it, but answers a lot of questions about Johnny Truant and his descent into madness as well as telling the story of a woman who spends the rest of her guilt ridden life in a mental institution.Once you learned to break the code here literally you will find this method also very usable in some chapters and footn [...]

    23. Seth Thomas on said:

      I recently began reading House of Leaves again I got to a footnote that suggested I read the Three Attic Whalestoe letters before continuing the intricate maze Danielewski has constructed here I had the separate collection of letters that included 11 additional letters previously unreleased in House of Leaves.Let me just say, it was so sad to read Pelafina s words She is obviously very intelligent and the love she has for her son knows no bounds The letters moved me to tears on than one occasio [...]

    24. Bill Tucker on said:

      Although this volume exists seperately from its parent work House of Leaves, I remained constantly aware of the larger work as something constantly present but still unseen Danielewski s introductory comment to HoL this is not for you certainly applies to both works for some people try HoL first, and if you find that disturbing yet un put downable sic , then move on to Whalestoe.

    25. Jamie on said:

      Though most of these letters are contained in House of Leaves, the ones here are just as beautiful, poetic and sad as the others P s letters in House of Leaves left me haunted, but I fear that removed from the larger work, they didn t have the same effect on me Personally, I think rather than be a stand alone book, the entirety of these letters need to be included in House of Leaves That s just my 2 cents for what it s worth.

    26. Hadley on said:

      I couldn t remember how many of these were in House of Leaves, but just like that experience, reading these all together was simply heartbreaking I think that no matter what relationship you have with your mother, these letters bring out an overwhelming guilt and sadness How can one ever repay the debt we owe our mothers Danielewski is brilliant at bringing out these deepest, most true parts of ourselves.

    27. Nick on said:

      I suppose, having read House of Leaves, that I ve probably read most of the letters already But they re still interesting to read I ve not read HoL in a few years now, so it was fun to be sort of reminded of some of it by these letters, and I m excited to read it again soon The preface to the letters, I think, wasn t part of HoL, and I was struck that it was written addressed Charlottesville, my current home.

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