Mt Zion - Andrew Brant

Emily Post-Structuralism

Emily Post-structuralism.
I won't answer people's questions, so much as reveal the myriad ways in which they are unanswerable.

Beach Reads.


What is the easiest way for me to become, or at least to appear to be, well-read?



The category “well-read” is fraught with problems of privilege, discourse, canonicity, and language. As James Paul Gee accurately points out, there is no such thing as an isolated act of “reading;” rather, we can be said to read texts (word-based, visual, olfactory, psychic, or other) within a particular context and Discourse. Additionally, he argues that Discourses have such complex, arcane rules regulating membership, that it is nearly impossible for you to join a dominant Discourse (such as a network television sitcom) if you were raised a member of a non-dominant Discourse (if you were, for example, raised by circus performers). We can see, then, that a well-read network television star would have to have read Ted Danson’s gripping book Oceana at a young age, while a circus performer would be mocked mercilessly for reading about the sea.


Thus, we can clearly answer your question: you cannot “become, or at least appear to be, well-read.” You ARE well-read in your primary Discourse, and you will NEVER be well-read in another discourse. Your best hope is that someone mistakes you for a member of the Discourse you wish to join, and you can maintain the charade without becoming a dual subject.


I would advise you to found your own school of post-Dada, pre-modernist tactile poetry. That way, you will have ultimate control over the Discourse and no one will be able to accuse you of being “ill-read.”


Question Source: The Gentleman Scholar

Luke Niebler