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Mark Z. Danielewski$
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Joe Bray and Alison Gibbons

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099335

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099335.001.0001

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This is not for You

This is not for You

(p.17) 1 This is not for You
Mark Z. Danielewski

Alison Gibbons

Manchester University Press

Alison Gibbons attends to the remarkable opening to House of Leaves using a unique and distinctive cognitive approach, arguing that the opening five words have a dramatic impact on how readers enter into their reading experience of the novel. She demonstrates the effects of the use of the second-person pronoun, negation, and visual presentation, introducing two cognitive psychological concepts which are a vital part of the reader’s experiential journey: cognitive dissonance and reactance. These, she argues, contribute to a sense of discomfort for the reader which is a key feature of the novel. Gibbons thus shows that Danielewski’s precise opening is crucial in initially unsettling readers as they enter the House of Leaves.

Keywords:   Cognitive poetics, Second person, Negation, Multimodality, Cognitive dissonance, Reactance, Experiential journey

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