THE WAY OF THE SIGN:
CULTURAL TEXT THEORY IN TWO STEPS
AND ALL THE OTHER INTERNET CHANNELS
This is a book about extraction, about reducing methods of inquiry to the bare bones. It guides students through 10 schools of theory and criticism. The focus is on ‘asking’ each theory to give its best in the simplest way, by making us see what is at stake and how we might respond to it. In simple Socratic dialogue, Elias invents scenarios: ‘What is happening?’ Deconstruction asks. And we answer with it: ‘We are buying a mythology.’ ‘How does it make us feel?’ ‘Dumb.’ ‘What is happening?’ Marxism asks. And we answer with it: ‘The rich cheat us.’ ‘How does it make us feel?’ ‘Angry’. By posing such simple questions, the book brings out the complexity of the ideas formulated in different approaches to texts, and the joy at discovering that some theories are mighty simple, and therefore also beautiful. The book’s aim is thus to contribute to every student’s ‘aha’ experience. Make it richer, so that they themselves can start asking questions.