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Johnny is Zampano?

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  • Johnny is Zampano?

    I was searching through my book last night and picked up something. I don't know if this has been brought up by anyone yet, but I think it certainly shouldn't be excluded as evidence further proving Johnny as Zampano. On Page 399 The Z. talks about something and says "wind as in 'to wind something up'" appears and on page 118, JT is talking about the same thing and says "as in 'to wind something up'" as well. weird?

    And also Z talks about a Mel O'Geery on page 371.... then on page 379 JT says "Today, for no reason in Particular, I started thinking about Dr. Ogelmeyer..." Weird how those two doctors names are the same name spelled differently... oKay I have to go... I'm at school.... weird what you come up with when you spend a whole period staring at the book....

  • #2
    Johnny is Zampano?

    That's a really interesting idea. I always thought Zampano was some form of Navy (mainly because he walked around with a cane like Navy eventually had to -- not a very strong connection but it was just my first impression and I've never taken the time to shake it yet) and that Pelafina was a form of Karen. Johnny, Pelafina and Zampano seemed to be the macrocosm to Tom, Karen and Navy's microcosm.

    I think your idea is better, though... Have you noticed any other things in the book to support that? Has anyone else?


    • #3
      Johnny is Zampano?

      Addition: I thought Pelafina was a form of Karen because of a line at the end of one of her letters (April 5, 1986) "Practicing my smile in a mirror the way I did when I was a child."

      It always seemed too obvious in light of some of the more subtle connection in the book but like I said before it was my first impression and it stuck with me.


      • #4
        Johnny is Zampano?

        I think you have a very interesting idea, about Zampano being Navy. It would explain why he knew the story without seeing the movie, since he made many of the videotapes himself. It wouldn't even have to be that symbolic, because there's not really a specific time mentioned, so it could just have been Z writing the story after many years (or doesn't this make sense...).
        I'm not so sure about the other suggestion though, Pelafina being a form of Karen, because where would that leave Chad, Daisy and Johnny?


        • #5
          Johnny is Zampano?

          I recall when I was first getting into the book that I thought that maybe Zampano was Johnny...the elder preceding the younger in some sort of weird David Lynch sort of way. I think what first planted the seed in my head was some reference to Zampano having some scars on his arms. Though, now I can't find where I might have gotten that idea, other than on pg. 48 where Johnny is going off on one of his page-long sentences. He is pondering the fate of Zampano and his ramblings bring him to his own scars, but then he interrupts himself, writing "-for they are first of all his scars-". If I'm reading it correctly, Zampano's scars?

          So, from fairly early on in the book I was keeping a lookout for any additional indication that Zampano and Johnny were one and the same. Here are some (some are stronger links than others):

          -It was said several times that Zampano had no friends or family. Johnny has no living family and after the death of Lude, no friends.

          -A couple fo Z's "readers" mentioned that he was "passionate" or "a romantic". Johnny has a clearly demonstrated way with the ladies.

          -Zampano was blind. In another of Johnny's ramblings he writes, "Love At First Sight having been written by a blind man, albeit sly, passionate too? the blind man of all blind men, me,--don't know why I just wrote that." Johnny describing himself as a pasionate blind man?

          -A few times in the book Z is believed to be drunk, though he didn't drink. Once by one of his readers (xxi) and once by the gun dealer (554). Johnny has an obvious liking for booze through the book, then seems to lose interest by the end. In that bar with the band he's offered a free beer and doesn't drink it, he instead opts for a ginger ale (512). Now back to 554 and Zampano. After proving that the gun dealer was pawning phony shotguns, Z signs off with "I suppose in his world if a recently manufactured Ithaca 37 is the same as the WWII model, gingerale must pass for bourbon." Meaning that the dealer was wrong in accusing Z of being drunk, since Z had been drinking gingerale.

          Not sure what to make of all that, but thought I'd throw them out there and see if they spark any other ideas.


          • #6
            Johnny is Zampano?

            I think that the idea that JT wrote the entire book as a method by which to work through his own personal turmoil growing up is an excellent one. Using the letters his mother wrote him from the Whale as points of reference and for character development, and his extensive vocabulary coupled with an obvious thirst for knowledge that has been with him since his youth, JT could very easily have fabricated everything.

            The question I have is this: It's obvious that at some point in working through (or writing) The Navidson Record, Johnny loses his grip on reality. Was it lost before he started? Is everyone he tells us about in LA a figment of his overactive imagination?


            • #7
              Johnny is Zampano?

              I definitely dig the idea that Johnny really is Z. I just finished the book on sunday night and I got this feeling too. Look at Johnny's last footnote and before he tells the story of the Doctor in Seattle he is on the beach and he finally comes to grips with the 5 and a half minutes of that were lost to him his whole life. The five and a half minutes that transpired when his mother left him as a child. These five and a half minutes are alos manifest in the hallway, THE FIVE AND A HALF MINUTE HALLWAY! This hallway, like Truant's own memory is black, cold and ambiguous. Further, Navy and everyone else are all trying to figure out what is in the hallway, much like Johnny is trying to put together the pieces of his own dark hallway.


              • #8
                Johnny is Zampano?

                Isn't it in the Pelican poems, " Romeo, or is it Lear tonight?"
                Split persona?


                • #9
                  Johnny is Zampano?

                  hey, my first post, i just wanted it to be known, to further propagate (is that the right word. i think it is.) this johnny is zampano bit by adding my paltry two cents:

                  page 628, the whalestoe letters:


                  seeing how "Johnny" interlocks with the letter "Z", an important letter in this important novel (its a novel right? i can't help thinking its some bizarre extension of self...whose self? danielewski? doubtable...)

                  but as long as we're in whalestoe (maybe forever) i figured it'd be best to also push the whole "Mother Is Creator Of Johnny And World, Subsequently" which in turn becomes the acronym MICOJAWS which would make a decent name for a terrible band.

                  yeah. i haven't slept. just been reading this book for about 50 hours now. scribing notes. puzzling through it like a hamster digging through the multicolored business of their foodbowl, though, inevitably, i feel that all of it must simply taste like hamsterfood.

                  someone respond out there,

                  someone's there...right?


                  • #10
                    Johnny is Zampano?

                    u r quiet making me buy the idea that Z. was invented by Jhonny , i mean Tom was sopouse to die inside the and LUDE DIED TOO...



                    • #11
                      Johnny is Zampano?

                      okay I have got to comment on this: but the comment has some pretext to it so bear with me, I will get there.

                      I finished reading of Leaves yesterday and I must say that book has come the closest to scaring me as any I've ever encountered. I truly must say spooky. The 'haunting' at the center of this book defies definition so it therefore becomes any scary boogyman or realife trauma that there is. it infinitly covers all experience of terror (whether supernatural or not) and therefore weighs on the psyche. with something composed of that much psychological 'mass' it is so dense that like anything in physics by merely knowing about it, it puts a dent in your brain.

                      So I am done with the book and want to make some sense of it and here is what i have come up with (in the most generalized, non specific of senses - hey its only one reading - gimme a break):

                      one representation of what is MZD's in HOL(which in psychological dream interpertation terms a is your psyche it is where you those objects of memory and such that is you) -- is that it leads into a labryinth.

                      Now its no original notion that a labryinth is symbolic of the human brain - with its folds and paths encasing the folds and paths of our inner (insubstantial world). It is something physical which sometimes seems to something infinite. (no wonder the seems to respond to the individual effects and personal history/psychology of whoever is in it).

                      But in MZD's it goes beyond our consciouess world into our personal subconscious world to even extend into the collective unconcious (which is deep at oft times highly unfathomable and subject to the subject (who is doing the viewing)'s subjective reality (ie refs to the other and other and other etc that occasionally popped up in the book).

                      This 3 level increasing magnitude extension (from personal consciousness to personal subconscious to collective unconscious -- maybe back around to a collective conscious? i haven't explored that idea but hey why not cuz only a circle is all encompassing and infinite & aren't we the readers provinding the collective consciousness in our mutual awareness, as we pour into it our personal consciousness & subconsciousness? -- but i could go round and round expounding upon this nesting doll loop of infinity without really getting anywhere so out of the loop i jump.

                      but this discussion of a johnny/zampano split identity of one or navy/zampano or navy/johnny interests me.

                      why not call into mind the whole idea of the trinity (and i feel justified to use biblical mythology since the author uses it as a symbological tool in the text) and then extend it into the Jung idea of the trinity being a symbol for the individual man. It has been my belief for awhile that every character in a book is a representation of some self of the author. whether it is a possiblity of self that dead ended long ago or a future imagined self or what not they all represent different realities said person could have taken in life so a book to me is often just watching fragments of one person interact with each other given a situation.

                      anyway you have zampano the old man as possibly either god or the holy ghost (though i go for god over the holy ghost and definitly not jesus since he has the missing son mystery about him)

                      then you have navy as either the holy ghost (since he enters the mystery) or maybe jesus, hard to say without me doing readings geared for looking for that kind of clue, but i lean towards those two for him -- course i don't know where this puts tom the twin quite yet - since any discussion of navy's identity on symobolical level must contain explanation of tom -

                      and finally johnny as either jesus or the holy ghost jesus since he brought the message of the 'book' to us in physical form - or the holy spirit as bringer of the message 'of the book' could go either way since as of yet i have no hard evidence for either or maybe the three characters switch back & forth in an ever intertesting menage a trois and given which part of the whole you put the microscope on.

                      anyway based on the jungian interpertation of the trinity symbol in christian mythology god is the superego, holy ghostie is the id, and jesus is the ego -- well from there it goes to say classical interpertations of psychology then apply.


                      • #12
                        Johnny is Zampano?

                        Interesting concept about thinking of Navy, Johnny and Zampano as some sort of trinity. It makes sense since they refer to the as being older than the universe- so maybe the is the Universe. The universe is believed to be expanding and the does expand. It does consume all three and take some sanity from them...does it not? Navy is drawn to it, and ends up almost Dying, And becoming handicapped. Zampano Dies from the very beginning. And Johnny... well, who knows what the hell happened to him ,but it is very clear that The got to him as well.
                        Also there is this that keeps bugging me... Maybe it was discussed earlier, but I don't know.
                        (o) (N)
                        A sun to read the dark

                        but both of the (o) and (N) are struck out. so are the U and the A underneath . (page 542) Does that mean anything??


                        • #13
                          Johnny is Zampano?

                          I'd wondered about that statement myself.

                          o n
                          A sun to read the dark.

                          (Sorry for how small that comes out--the joys of the "pre" HTML)

                          I don't have my copy handy, but that's about what it looks like, no? (The red was my own addition, as struck passages are supposed to be in red. [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] Maybe MZD didn't mean it for this, but I did it anyway. ) [Edit note: Took the red out of the preformatted part because you couldn't read the letters.]

                          Well, to me, that can be read four different ways:

                          1) A sun to rend the dark.
                          2) A sun to read the dark.
                          3) A son to rend the dark.
                          4) A son to read the dark.

                          1) Not sure of any deep meaning to this--sun destroys dark. Light beats dark.
                          2) No idea.
                          3 and 4) Here's an idea. If we take the references of "A son" to mean Johnny (which also applies to another Z diary entry, regarding "perhaps I could create a son who is not missing"), then what we have is Johnny reading the dark (the Navidson Record, obviously--it is all about darkness), and subsequently rending (to tear apart, to pull to pisces) it. I'm not sure about the latter part--does Johnny really destroy the NR by reading it? To me, it seems he more enables it. He brings it to life--he even refers to himself as the metallic bull holding a tortured Zampano, as the pipes changing Z's screams into music. That doesn't sound like destroying the darkness, that sounds like helping to create it. I'm not sure.

                          Some ideas bouncing around my head, but they don't want to come out right now. [img]images/smiles/icon_sad.gif[/img] Maybe someone else will get this one.


                          [ December 03, 2001: Message edited by: Kimba ]

                          [ December 03, 2001: Message edited by: Kimba ]


                          • #14
                            Johnny is Zampano?

                            #3 up there: a sun to read the dark.

                            I think that would mean Like the sun reads the dark. No one else really knows what is in the dark unless there is some form of light (which is artificial sun). It's like the Sun knows how to decipher the dark, crack it's codes, and make sense of everything... reading it like a book. Hmm...Kind of sounds like Navy's letter to Karen...


                            • #15
                              Johnny is Zampano?

                              i've got to say i read that as Son To Rend The Dark. i also thought the way the parentheses looked made it appear to be a face with a damaged eye (much like Will's condition once rescued by Karen from the abyss)

                              i also found something on page 546, and its really bizzarre, so bear with me. i'm going anagramic codepsycho:

                              "Defend a stray's hun? Never used the word. Never Will."

                              so, take "Never Will"s first letters backwards, you got WN, Will Navidson.
                              take the last letters of the rest of the line and form a sentence with them:

                              DED RN SAD

                              as in Will Navidson Ded RN Sad...implying that perhaps Will Navidson died in there and the last chapters were written by Zampano or Johnny to give the cruel ending a somewhat bright one. I'm thinking RN might be RestoN...i know this is really going out on a limb, but thats the point my mind is at right now. I also, for some reason, was struck with this one line, so i attempted as best i could to decode it.

                              One more thing: above that line is "Prometheus, thief of light, giver of light, bound by gods, must have been a book."

                              reading this something occurred to me:
                              this particular book feels like Prometheus bound to that rock, each day a liver regenerates and is eaten once again.

                              is that too abstract? fucked if i'm completely senseless here. if this confused everyone more than anything else, just ignore it. but i'm working at this. promise to be find something more coherent and/or meaningful in the future.

                              for now, i learn.