I just finished the book proper and I have a few more sections of the Appendix to get through. A few thoughts, to get the discussion started, and I'd very much like to hear Faust and LMNO's take as mentioned in What Are You Reading?
The most impressive part of the whole thing for me was the chapter regarding the labyrinth. As I searched for footnotes pages ahead, pages behind, leading to other footnotes, imbedded in yet more footnotes, I of course continued to read the very brief, very detailed history of labyrinths. Then, all of a sudden, I'm sure exactly as intended, it clicked that the overwhelming, terrifying nature of labyrinths was being demonstrated by the layout of the pages, within the footnotes themselves. It's jarring and confusing and, I thought, brilliant. The same tactic is used in several other chapters, but it was this one that really stood out.
Zampano being blind as stated in the beginning of the work becomes important less in the thick description of visuals he provides, but more in that the overall effect of the house was an example of how blindness can be. Hallways that seem to lengthen, stairs that are sometimes shorter and sometimes longer, paths that change even as you swear you know them. It's life as the blind, never knowing (in the case of exploring a new space) just what kinds of terrain await you. And for that, the agoraphobia, the constant unknown, the fears that the book put me through, are just another means to an end instead of being the end that I expected them to be.
I'm not any kind of an in depth reader and that's what I can think of for now.