A radio version? It might work but I'm not sure if it will be much more successful then a movie would be. Have to ponder it a bit.
All men are islands, influenced by the wind.
The German radio version can be listened to on 10th of December at 23.05 – 24.00 CET, simultaneously on the channels 1LIVE, WDR 3 and WDR 5.
1LIVE: Footage from The Navidson Record with comments
WDR 3: From Zampanò’s records and background material, published after his death
WDR 5: Based on the report of the apprentice Johnny Truant
Here is a link to WDR with some information about the project.
I will come with a translation later and will try to do a patchwork listening Thursday night.
Last edited by Magda; 12-05-2009 at 06:07 AM.
Here is a hasty translation of the information I found at different WDR sources. Sorry for mistakes.
This source gives three audio samples of the project.
WDR program text
A radio sensation at WDR, on three radio waves simultaneously: WDR presents the reconstruction of one of the most uncanny and disturbing stories ever been witnessed: The listener can surf between the channels to experience the horror to the whole extent and from three different perspectives. By Mark Z. Danielewski. Translated from American English by Christa Schuenke, adaptation by Thomas Böhm, directed by Claudia Johanna Leist/Jörg Schlüter/Martin Zylka Produktion WDR 2009, ca. 53 minutes.
WDR main text:
THREE radio waves - ONE audio play - CHANGE channels
Three radio channels – three versions –ONE story! Please enter the uncanny “” of Mark Z. Danielewski. And change dauntlessly between the three radio channels. Because WDR broadcasts in three programs simultaneously different audio versions of this astonishing and frightening story. The premiere of a threedimensional audio play at WDR!
10th of December, 23.05 – 00.00
How it works
A peep behind the scenes
Video The making of
What you will listen to
1live: Footage from The Navidson Record with comments
WDR 3: Form Zampanò’s records and background material, published after his death
WDR 5: Based on the report of the apprentice Johnny Truant
What it is about
In the beginning of June 1990 the entrance of an almost endless system of caves appeared in the of family Navidson in Wisconsin USA. While exploring this system – sometimes interpreted as „entrance to hell“ – three persons died. The events of the expedition are documented in many cases. The documentary „The Navidson Record“, produced by Pulitzer price winning Will Navidson himself, caused a sensation. The film was on American cinema only for a short time; after that all the copies vanished. In the estate of the mysterious amateur cinematologue Zampanò documents and notes were found that analyze and reconstruct the uncanny phenomenon in the Navidson . It is part of the tragic history of reception and impact of the material that someone called Johnny Truant stumbled over it and lost his psychic health thereby.
Mark Z. Danielewski, born 1966 as son of the Polish film director Tad Danielewski, lives in Los Angeles. With his debut novel “ of Leaves” (2005) - that he worked on more than ten years – he created the firt cult book of the 21st century that was “sublimely uncanny” for Brat Easton Ellis, and for Diedrich Diederichsen the post-modern construction of the walkable book.
Thomas Böhm, born 1968 in Oberhausen, arranged hundrets of readings as program leader of Literaturhaus Köln ( of literature in Cologne) since 1999. He met Mark Z. Danielewski during one of those occasions and won his faith in the concept of this audio version. Up to that time Danielewski had rejected all offers for adaptation, even by film companies.
The rest is understandable, I think
Three channels at once: Cool idea. Too bad I missed it... not that I would have been able to understand it anyway.
I think that the German translator must have taken some liberties with the text if the Navidson family lives in "Wisconsin, USA".
And here the translation of the interview, bitteschön.
WDR: What was is that fascinated you about „ of Leaves“ by Mark. Z. Danielewski?
Thomas Böhm: Everything, right from the first syllable. I never read a book like that. When you thumb through it, realising how it is constructed, the different fonts, different kinds of texts. Then suddenly there are black squares, on some pages you find only one word, a sentence stretches over 50 pages with single words on each page. The book itself is a piece of art, you realise that it at first sight.
WDR: The publishing needed years to typeset the book. How did you manage its unusual structure?
TB: I did not concern myself with this special setup, f. ex. the different fonts. It was the task of the directors to adapt this kind of textual surface and transfer it into an acoustic work of art – which they did very well. In each version so much happens on the acoustic level, so subtly they worked with sound effects, with different atmospheres, sound scapes. And the actors are grandiose. Some made me think: it sounds as if Danielewski had written his novel in German. Roberto Ciulli plays Zampano perfectly well, as if the role was written only for him. Tom Schilling, as Johnny Truant, sounds as if he really was this drug addicted tattooist from Los Angeles. Each radio play has a fantastic cast and it’s a fantastic acoustic work.
WDR: What was the particular challenge when you adapted the original novel?
TB: It was my task to transport the reading impression into an audio play. There are sometimes three, four, five different texts on one page, and as a reader one has to decide: what is the next to read, which thread through the textual maze will I follow? My answer was to build up a textual maze myself and to actually spatialise it by making it not only one audio play, running from the beginning to the end, but three audio plays. The listener is the one to decide. The thread does in fact not run through only one hour on a Thursday evening on a WDR channel, but on three channels simultaneously. And like in a maze I have to make a decision in every minute: where do I go, is this the right way or do I miss the right turnoff?
WDR: What was the worst difficulty for you?
TB: The author Mark Z. Danielewski required that nothing must be added. The audio plays must be developed by only shortening the text. The problem arises then that a scene is comprehensible just in the context of the text. But I have to shorten all the time. The final manuscript has 50 pages at best, so 650 pages have to get out! To extract three narrative strands that despite of their shortness have the spirit and drive of the of the book – that was the big task. Working on this I realised how incredibly well Mark Z. Danielewski wrote his novel, because it actually was possible to make those shortenings, and it was not that difficult either.
WDR: The three narrative stands are split up in three audio plays that will be broadcasted on 1Live, WDR 3 and WDR 5 at the same time - with the distinctive invitation to channel-hop. Won’t the listeners miss something?
TB: When one listens one hour, one only will hear a bit and still will get the whole story. But we know: The whole story is never the whole story (grins). When I start to zap on my way, I get a whole story, too. This story is another story. No listener will have heard the same story in the end, everybody has missed something, but at the same time not missed anything. The three plays are constructed in a way that there is kind of a spine made of five key scenes the three audio plays run along. But (lowering his voice): Maybe those five key scenes are not the same in the end.
WDR: The author rejected each offer to make a film of his book. He accepted your idea of an audio play. What is so special about your project?
TB: When you make a film you have to tell the story in a more or less linear manner. You watch the film and in the end you have the feeling, okay, this film might be a bit mysterious, a bit scary, but it was an experience you make in other films as well. Listening to our audio plays the listener becomes sort of an author of the play himself, because he has to decide which track to follow. Can I stand this part here, won’t it be too horrible, does it touch me too much, shoudn't I rather change the channel? He stays in the same maze but suddenly he is somewhere else. This effect would only be possible whith three different versions being shown in three different cinemas, and the audience could change the rooms at will. Only no film company will ever do that. Only the radio can do it.
WDR: The book had a great impact when published – not only in Hollywood, also in the Internet where people wonder whether the Navidson Record still does exist?
TB: Of course Hollywood is interested in making this material into a film because there are splendid, gigantic, unseen images in it. But Danielewski refuses. There is a special irony in that the novel is about a film. By refusing, Danielewski prevents this film to come to existence. But the Internet is full of video snippets, and people claim that these are part of Will Navidson’s film. And some of them make you ask: damn, is it real? Because the photo the book talks about, of the little girl in a Third World country, dying, and the vulture sits close-by, only waiting for the death of this little girl, this photo is real. Is it possible then, that Danielewski found some film snippets in the Internet and reconstructed the case of Will Navidson? Is it possible that there really is the trailer the book is talking about, in the Internet? Some of the Internet snippets allow a conclusion like that.
WDR: A book for the conspiracy community in the Internet?
TB: Yes, too. Of course for the conspiracy community in the Internet, but when you join them yourself you cannot resist the charm of this idea.
Last edited by Magda; 12-13-2009 at 06:26 AM.
As I have been informed that off air recordings of the WDR streams are copyrighted, I can't really host them on http://markzdanielewski.info. However, a Google search at the present time for "wdr das haus danielewski .mp3" may assist those who want to hear this for themselves.
I applaud the talented Germans who created this radio drama and hope that the concept is adopted in other countries so that I can collect other languages as well.
Last edited by Johnny Truant; 12-15-2009 at 09:45 PM.
In the voice of Henrietta Pussycat: "Meow meow Danielewski meow, meow Familiar? Meow 27 meow! Meow meow we meow tour meow year."
Google translated version: "Have you heard of Danielewski`s project, The Familiar? It is 27 volumes! We hope we can tour for it next year."
You were there, and we were too.
View footage from MZD appearances @ http://www.youtube.com/user/mzdinfo
That's great that about the award. German radio shows, Scottish bands, MZD should have been a postman indeed... Thanks go to Poe.
From the award link:
Nicely said.The listener becomes an adventurer searching for lost pieces of a central theme.
(Note: due to house being in the url, one can right click award, copy link, paste and then edit out the color formatting.)
All men are islands, influenced by the wind.
Did anyone record the radio version of Das Haus? Looks like a dvd will be issued containing a making of...
Last edited by Magda; 05-31-2010 at 12:23 AM.
Neuer Erscheinungstermin/New release date: 23.10.10
Auf Sendung/On the air:
Montag/Monday, 25.10.10, 23:05 CET, WDR 3
Dienstag/Tuesday, 26.10.10, 23:00 CET, 1LIVE
Donnerstag/Thursday, 28.10.10, 23.00 CET, 1LIVE
Kann man aufnehmen mit dem/Recordable with the Radio Recorder
As my local bookseller told me yesterday "Das Haus" radio play has been nominated for Deutscher Hörbuch Preis 2011 (German Audio Book Award). The ceremony will take place on 3-16-2011, in Cologne again.
Last edited by Magda; 01-12-2011 at 10:37 PM.
That is great news. You know I like the play. And since it lost the Audio Play of the Year Award of the Deutsche Akademie der Darstellenden Künste to some play I never listened to, this is even better. A second chance.
I'll answer your last post in the Reloaded thread on monday the latest. I'll have enough time to reply while I'm at work, then, although I'm totally occupied reading every single post of the Only Revolutions thread there.
I have some questions regarding the translation, too. Some things I stumbled upon while comparing the German to the English version of the book. Deliberate alterations of the translator. I haven't searched the forums yet if that has been stated already...
Also posted this in the main forum, but here are the English and German announcements:
Translation from the German:
The special award for "Das Besondere Hörbuch" with this year's focus on "Best Adaptation" goes to "Das Haus - of Leaves" (three radio dramas, each of them offering a different perspective of Mark Z.Danielewski's story, Der Audio Verlag, WDR)
Pulitzer Award winner Will Navidson moves into his new house. When an unknown hall appears he notices that the house structure keeps changing. A small group of experts start exploring the new rooms which reveal a labyrinthine pattern. All the copies of Will's video footage of the expedition—known as "The Navidson Record"—disappear without a trace.
Zampano, a blind amateur cinema expert, wants to learn more. He collects documents and tries to get to the underlying sources of "The Navidson Record". When he mysteriously dies, his material is taken up by Johnny Truant, whose work on the matter does not leave him unscathed.
What is special here is that the production consists of three different radio dramas. Each of them covers a different layer (or level) of the narrative—a story the course of which the listener can determine for himself.
As Amadeus Gerlach, CEO of DAV puts it: "Radio WDR has ventured to transpose this complex radio drama with thrilling and interesting results."
The jury was enthusiastic, for "the listener turns into an adventure hunter for the blood-red thread."
"Danielewski's novel combines elementary nightmare with quotations from Dante to Derrida. Thomas Böhm ingeniously creates an acoustic expedition out of the topographic and typographic maze of the text. He arranges the cumulative horror of fragments and dubiousness in three layers which tempt the listener to interactively zap between them."
Other nominees were
– "Don Quijote von der Mancha" (Miguel Cervantes, Der Hörverlag, DLF)
– "Öland" (Johann Theorin, Der Hörverlag, DLR Kultur)
In der Spezialdisziplin „Das besondere Hörbuch“, diesmal mit dem Schwerpunkt „Beste Bearbeitung“, hat gewonnen:
• „Das Haus – of Leaves“ (drei Hörspiele mit jeweils einer eigenen Perspektive der Geschichte von Mark Z. Danielewski, Der Audio Verlag, WDR)
Die Story: Pulitzerpreisträger Will Navidson zieht in ein altes Haus. Als im Haus plötzlich eine Kammer auftaucht, bemerkt er, dass sich die Struktur des Hauses stets verändert. Um der Sache auf die Spur zu kommen, begibt sich eine kleine Gruppe in die neuen Räume, die sich wie ein Labyrinth aufbauen. Die Videoaufzeichnungen, die Will davon macht, werden als „The Navidson Record“ bekannt – sämtliche Kopien des Filmes verschwinden jedoch spurlos. Der blinde Hobby-Kinoexperte Zampano will mehr wissen, stellt Analysen und Dokumente zusammen und untersucht die Hintergründe von „The Navidson Record“. Nach seinem mysteriösen Tod fällt seine Materialsammlung in die Hände von Johnny Truant, der die Beschäftigung mit dem Stoff nicht ohne Folgen übersteht.
Das Besondere hier: Die Produktion (auf DVD mit geheimnisvollem Notizbuch) besteht aus drei verschiedenen Hörspielen, die jeweils eine andere Erzählebene beinhalten – einer Geschichte, deren Verlauf der Hörer selbst entscheiden kann. „Der WDR hat sich getraut, dieses komplexe Hörspiel spannend und interessant umzusetzen“, erklärte DAV-Chef Amadeus Gerlach.
Die Jury zeigte sich begeistert, weil der Hörer „zum Abenteurer auf der Jagd nach dem blutroten Faden“ werde. Denn: „Danielewskis Kultroman vereint den elementaren Alptraum mit Zitaten von Dante bis Derrida. Raffiniert macht Thomas Böhm aus dem topo- und typografischen Textlabyrinth eine akustische Expedition. Den geballten Horror aus Fragmenten und Fragezeichen verteilt er auf drei Ebenen, die zum interaktiven Zapping locken.“
Ebenfalls nominiert waren:
– „Don Quijote von der Mancha“ (Miguel Cervantes, Der Hörverlag, DLF)
– „Öland“ (Johann Theorin, Der Hörverlag, DLR Kultur)