Memory and Things Remembered

On page 153 the husband mentions the “slim difference between the memory and the thing remembered.” But what does this indicate? I’ve been having trouble discerning what is real and what is not in this novel, if any of it may be considered real. In The House seems to be utilizing a sense of mystery in reality in order to bring forth its ideas. This is to say that the novel requires some suspended sense of belief in the “real” in order to value it. 

However, within this suspension of disbelief is also a bit of unreliability. Beyond the impossible is that “possible” that still somehow seems inaccurate. And this is where “the difference between the memory and the things remembered.” As the husband also says, “this desperation that could be either a squid or a whale (167), exists. These things exist within the novel that could be one of many things – but we, and perhaps, the husband himself – have no idea what. 

This is not, however, a purposeful deception, but instead a deception provided by the close-knit confusion between what is a memory, and what we remember. There is a space within this realm that we/the husband cannot quite understand, and the book wants us to grapple with.


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