Thursday, August 4, 2011

Derrida's Sunnyside Salad

Graphic Design - TJS Labs
Once upon a time when I was a not-so-earnest college English major some people I knew used to talk about Texts Reading Themselves. I never knew what that meant, which is part of the reason I am here typing drivel about gelatin ads and not teaching somewhere. Instead I perfected a little comedy routine wherein I had an exam write itself while I took a nap. Quality entertainment it wasn't. Which brings me to this slightly addled and confusing post, which I'm just going to put Out There and see what happens. Please don't try to deconstruct it, though. That would not work out at all.

Derrida would love some Jell-O 
I'm pretty sure that the whole Self Reading Text thing was related to literary criticism (don't get me started) and probably to Derrida (really, I mean it, don't). Actually, it probably didn't have anything to do with Derrida. The connection? My hopeless, foggy sense that I really just wanted to read and analyze Victorian novels in a historical context.

Jacques Derrida says that there is nothing outside the text. So that must apply to ads, too, right? I see some text right over there. So there is nothing but gelatin salad. Gelatin salad is a whole world unto itself. And it is the perfect dessert for pineapple lovers and philosophers alike. In case you happen to have some of each over for a riveting dinner party.

Anyway, I have never claimed to be able to cajole texts into reading themselves, or into doing anything else (too bad they can't write a few posts for me). Nor was I ever able to deconstruct anything more significant than a stale non-Sunnyside Jell-O cube, which bounces if you put it in a glass of Sprite.*

But now I can offer the critically adept a delicious meta-dessert: the Sunnyside Salad, which almost makes itself. Almost? Not good enough. It needs to take a few more seminars, I guess.

*I don't think you can do this with Sunnyside Salad, though.


AA said...

Looks good. Bring it over here when it's made itself.

menversuswomengame said...

Mmm, I like it.

Marcheline said...

At first I was like... you can EAT a sombrero?

vanilla said...

Grandma took her Knox Gelatin straight in warm water-- for the nails, you know. (See, I took you at your word and stayed away from the l.c. thing.)

Cari Hislop said...

Texts that read themselves? That brings to mind Star Trek! Clearly I did not study English Lit, but I did have a great English teacher in College. She made us write essays over and over (I think she did it because we were annoying), but thanks to her I learned to rewrite. Now I'm going to wonder what the heck Texts that read themselves are...I'm going to have to look it up.