sneak preview of chapter 8

It’s been a bit, but school’s getting intense and chapter 8 isn’t lending it self towards quick progress. However, I do have a little tidbit I can share with yeh. The rest of chapter 8 will be coming soon.

Chapter Layout

Seeing as the physical format of this chapter and more chapters to come are more visually oriented I’m implementing a more visual approach. (For those who are curious about how my conversion from windows to linux (link to conversion article) I’ve found kolourpaint (link to kolourpaint) most helpful for basic picture editing)

First we notice that chapter is divided up into SOS sections. The first and most obvious is the SOS breaking up the text in 3 places.

Page 97: S or . . .

The code begins relatively easy as a clue to deciphering the rest of the chapter. Here I’ve highlighted the 3 parts the text is broken up into as indiciated by MZD on page by the little black squares between sections. For sake of format, I will highlight these squares, black indicates pause, blue will represent full stop (see pages 100, 104 – 106).

The next clue were given is the SOS pattern between the chapters cardinal quote and the beginning of the narriative: . . . – – – . . . (the first 3 dots (or S ( ) according to the morse code chart. We see the relative brevity of these 3 sections when we compare these sections of text compared to those on pages 98 and 99.

Page 98 – 99 and 101:O or . . . – – – . . .

The format gets more liberal but if we follow the format we can see the pattern manifest in the sections and pauses as highlighted. Notice the open squares on pages 98 and 99, since theres no pause in between these two parts we can only assume that they are apart of the same section.

Page 101-102: S or . . . – – – . . .

And finally we see the third “S” on pages 101-102. So far pretty easy. The main things that should be taken away from the provide clues are: One, the length of sections between solid black dots (or pauses) determine if that section represents a dot or a dash and two, the morse code “letters” that are in bold are represented in the following text. Apply this logic to pages 102-103…

Pages 102 – 103: – – . . . either “MS” or “7” or “(“

All the letters in the code “MS” are bold indicating that they’re fully represented on the same page together. As far as I can tell the code whether it stands for “MS” or “7” or “(“ seems irreverent. Then the next code (which is inside the sequence of the “MS” code) “. . . – – –” seems to be to be translated for us in the final section as the phrase “SO?” And now for something completely different…

Jonny’s message

Page 99 – 100: . . – . (stop) . . – (stop) – . – . (stop) – . – or FUCK

Here we are challenged to apply our system to the Jonny sections since he seems to be imploring the use of the variable section lengths and black squares. However we notice a new item in this format, the empty square or full stops, which I have highlighted with blue squares. The open squares, full stops, or stops serve the purpose of serving as a “space” between letters so that it doesn’t read as one long letter/character/morse code giberish. So the first set of sections forms: . . – . and then we see a stop then the next section forms: . . – an then we see a full stop ect as highlighted in the above page to spell the word: F U C K. Then at the end of the word out side of the parentheses we have a long dash indicating this is an unfinished message. Following this lead to the next Jonny footnote on pages 103 -106…

Page 103 – 104 – . . . (stop) . . – (stop) – or B U T

Page 105 – 106 (stop) – (stop) – – – (stop) – . (stop) . . . or T O N S

Put it all together and we get “buttons” and couple it with Jonny’s first message on pages 99 – 100 we get the phrase “fuck buttons”.

I got a hunch and checked the index for “button(s)” (I chose to look up “button(s)” first since I knew that the entry for “fuck” would have a whole bunch of entries) and found that the word “button” appears on two pages in the book: 109 and 144; as if to confirm my hunch, fuck appears on page 109 as well. Jump to page 109 and search for “button” and “fuck” and we find them in that order in the tail end of Jonny’s footnote 120 (starting on page 107). In this part of the footnote we catch Jonny climbing mt orgasm while straddled on top Tatiana (a girl he is brought into contact with through Zapano’s The Navidson Record lead) when she preses on his “P spot” aka “the LOUD button”.

Following the lead through I proceeded to the next page listing to have the word “button”, page 144. (If you’re having trouble verifying that the phrase “button” is in fact on this page, I’ve highlighted it for you in the picture. Look to the top left in the backwards, italic, sideways text)

Page 144



And what do we get at the end of this long puzzle? An easter egg, or bit of “egg yoke” splooged on the bottom part of the page (as highlighted) on the lower left part of the page. Appropriately the a joining footnote about TNT links to footnote 188, which links us to footnote 189 (about puns and sperm and the like) which leads us to footnote 196, leading back to 195 which loops back to 196 right away, which leads us to footnote 197. This little trail gives us a taste for what chapter nine has in store for us.


Also, wanna make a shout out to everyone who was at MZD’s book reading/signing tonight in the ‘Lou.


Stay tuned for the rest of chapter 8,

-S.G. Miller


P.S. MZD if you’re reading this, this one’s for you.

That’s right folks! The one, the only Mark Z. Danielewski is coming to the Lou and the talk is free! The event that brings him here is the re-releasing of his novella “The Fifty Year Sword” Until this year there’s only been 2000 copies in circulation making it a rather rare and, given MZD’s devoted following, an extremely hard book to find.  Here’s the synopsis from Left Bank’s website:

“a local seamstress named Chintana finds herself responsible for five orphans who are not only captivated by a storyteller’s tale of vengeance but by the long black box he sets before them.”

As expected MZD doesn’t disappoint with his unique structure and story telling format. Five colours are used to denote different speakers and the copy being sold at the talk, 25$ gets you a hand sewn and his signature, has interior art which may be unique to this copy (unconfirmed).


Lecture: free

Book and signing: 25$

Date: 10/24/2012 Wednesday

Christ Church Cathedral
1210 Locust
Saint Louis,
United States

See yeh there.

S.G. Miller.

MZD signing and lecture sponsered by Left Bank Books