Simulation – You have to use signs to say anything at all in language. Truth, lies, and simulacra all require signs. In truth, a sign refers to a thing. “Apple” means a shiny red fruit. An example of a lie or dissimulation would be telling a Japanese tourist that the sign “apple” (whether the written [...]



Myth – A myth is simply a story told over and over and over again by a group of people. Generally, we use “myth” to connote an ancient, sacred narrative (the rape of Prosperine to generate seasonality, the striking of the heavenly spear into the Pacific to create Japan), not just any story. This is [...]

Sign, Signifier, Signified

Sign, Signifier, Signified – The sign is the basic unit of text, and thus of thought. A sign is a thing that means something. All words are signs. All images intended to represent something are signs. All sounds that mean something are signs. Signs have two halves: Signifier – The thing that does the meaning: A red [...]



Text – A group of signs. In literary and other types of criticism, a text can be a book (a group of written signs), a film (a group of cinematically recorded images and sounds—visual and auditory signs), or even a set of sculptures (think of braille; think of the pieces on a chessboard read as [...]

Symbol, short version

Symbol, short version – A symbol is a sign or group of signs with an agreed upon allegorical meaning. At it’s most basic, a symbol is an image or other element in a story that represents more than itself. For example, “United States of America” literally means “a late capitalist North American democracy/empire inhabited by [...]