Yeah, I Know, Beating a Dead Horse, But I Can’t Help Myself

Is the whole world–culture, advertising, politics, gender relations, everything really–just one big “text” whose underlying meaning we can learn to “interpret”? That metaphor has its appeal. In particular, it would be appealing if you had spent years in a graduate humanities program where all you did was read, read, read.  Because then interpreting texts would be what you did best. And after you’ve spent your youth getting certified to use a hammer, everything damn well better look like a nail.

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