Pelafina writes these letters to Johnny from The Three AtticWhalestoe Institute, a mental institution where she has beenresiding for a number of years. While a number of these lettersappear in House of Leaves, The Whalestoe Lettersintroduces a number of new letters which serve to more fullydevelop Pelafina's character as well as her relationship toJohnny.
One of the things that interests me most in were the Whalestoe Letters in the back of the book. These letters are fascinating because they are written by Johnny’s mother, Pelafina, a woman we know little about until we read these letters. Beginning on page 620, a letter dated May 8, 1987 is written in code form. We know this because in the previous letter, she tells him to decode the next one by using the first letter of every word. I have decoded this and come up with the following:
Sites like SparkNotes with a The Whalestoe Letters study guide or cliff notes. Also includes sites with a short overview, synopsis, book report, or summary of Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Whalestoe Letters.
The phrase felt familiar once I found it, so I googled it, despite my resolve to figure out the puzzles myself (if possible) — I received only results for House of Leaves — perhaps I read it on tumblr somewhere? — but Google confirmed my suspicion that the Whalestoe Letters contain plenty more secrets to uncover (I’ve not read past the May 8th letter yet). I look forward to unfolding them!