Prologue: Disco(urse) Inferno
In the middle of the journey of your academic career, you come to yourself within a dark wood where the center of structuralist thought has been lost.
Upon reaching the foot of the wooded hill, you see four shades in the shape of undergraduates. These are Bri, Emma, Scott, and Zachariah.
You cry out, “Have pity on me, be thou signifiers or things signified!”
“We are signs without origin,” the shades reply, “clearly you are most trouble and in need of our help.”
You ask the shades, "Four shades, how did I come to this wood? Can you help me find my way out?"
“We can’t promise you a way out,” say the shades. “But, since we literally wrote this game, we can tell you why, for our purposes, you came to be here: You read so much poststructuralist theory you forgot what theory was for. You're confused about why anyone would read it, and you need to figure out if it can be used to productive ends."
"Right," you say, "now that I think about it, that is definitely how I came to be here.”
“Follow us into the City of Signs,” say the shades. “But be warned: Once you accept that there are no transcendental centers, all becomes discourse, and meanings proliferate eternally.”