Clip 4

Randomly, a new Mark Z. Danielewski work materialized today in another one of those quarterly literary journals his stories seem to frequent.

My wife, who still has the internet plugged into her brain while at work, was able to purchase the physical journal and acquire the digital one and texted me about the new MZD that I figured was just the US version of The Fifty Year Sword. I worked and then searched for a billboard in the rain before giving up and coming home. It was then she started reading and I realized that she meant *actual* new MZD.

Clip 4 is a scholarly work by a guy that doesn’t exist, with notes in the margins by his non-existent girlfriend about a YouTube video that doesn’t exist that may be part of a larger body of work that also doesn’t exist. [Note, they all actually do exist, e- was too lazy to find them. B.C.]

Anyway, this guy writes a term paper about an infamous video titled Clip 4 and talks a bit about the clip, the people disputing its authenticity, the Droid Razr smartphone, the demise of blogs, fictitious songs by Nirvana, the Navidson Record and plenty more.

Eventually, the author finds the people that starred in the clip after receiving a mysterious email and listens to the story behind the clip, which while reading, the margin note writing girlfriend gets creeped out.

The story takes elements of all of Danieleski’s previous work and blends them into a captivating short story that almost jumps the shark with self reference but makes up for it at some point along the way. Only Revolutions, House of Leaves, All the Lights of Midnight, The Promise of Meaning and The Most Wondrous Book of All are neatly blended with a big helping of the suspense of The Fifty Year Sword in this brief tale.

I liked this surprise appearance from Mzrk and hope that more like it follow before the 2014 debut of The Familiar.

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