two-sided entity, yielding a key orrngrid equally present in the signifyingrnand the signified series. It maneuversrnnomadically through therntext, at once word and thing, namernand object, sense and denotatus,rnexpression and designation, exploringrnthe semantic, phonetic, andrnmorphological connections silently,rnlaboriously, obsessionally, compulsively;rnand with the stealth of arnthief in the night it swells up withrneverything it had previously swallowedrnbut is pregnant only with itselfrnIt guarantees, therefore, thernconvergence of the two seriesrnwhich it traverses, an abject object,rnan occupant without a place, alwaysrnsupernumerary and displaced.rnThus we disclose a textrncontaining no unit of occurrence,rnfixed form, identifiable theme, orrnimaginary determinable as such.rnIt contains no themes, but only anthems,rnscattered throughout andrncollecting everywhere.rnThe department is convinced thatrnGrenouille-Chanson’s program will enablernevery single individual in the NorthrnAmerican population—regardless of race,rnsexual preference, gender, and locationrnon the lower western slope of the BellrnCurve—to output litcritological dissertationsrnin printer’s ream lots.rnProf Harry Glibb, the subcommitteernchairmammal, presented a chart whichrnshowed the department reaching an annualrnproduction of 65.3 Ph.D.lites byrn2004 and then rising steadily to a peak ofrn1,311.5 by the year 2025. A second chartrnshowed how the 3 5-year trend in “graderninflation” is being replicated by the gallopingrngrowth of “degree inflation,” aidedrnand abetted by large numbers of taxpayersrndetermined to paper their youngrnwith academic credentials of every kind.rnThis phenomenon will ensure increasingrnemployment opportunities for thernswelling flood of Ph.D.l’s flowing fromrnAmerica’s graduate schools.rnA third chart, based on the assumptionrnthat all institutions of higher educationrnin the country will, sooner or later, instituternPh.D.l degree programs of their ownrnin every discipline, showed that by 2025rnevery single adult on the North Americanrncontinent with an IQ and/or pulsernrate registering at 3 3 and above will haverna Ph.D.l in some discipline or another.rnHarry’s fourth chart showed that thernexisting English faculty will all be retiredrnwell before the saturation point isrnreached.rnThe faculty congratulated the ReA’isioningrnCommittee for a job well done.rnThey congratulated Harry Glibb for hisrninspiring presentation. They congratulatedrnChairmammal Fish for initiatingrnthe process. They congratulated themselvesrnfor not being complicitous inrnhegemonic arrangements of power.rnLagado University’s president, W.rnWittering Bleatiey, congratulated thernEnglish Department, predicting that LagadornUniversity was destined to be therninternational pacesetter and pathfinderrnin the quest for equal educational accessrnand egress for all. The president lyricallyrnlimned a visionary picture of an Americarnpopulated with Doctors of Philosophyrn(lite). We quote from his peroration:rnOur species will, at last, begin tornharmonize itself in earnest.. ..rnThe Featherless Biped will be empoweredrnto master first the semiconsciousrnand then also the unconsciousrnprocesses of hir ownrnorganism—breathing, the circulationrnof the blood, digestion, reproductionrn—and, within the necessaryrnlimits, will subordinate themrnto the common good. Even purelyrnphysiological life will become collectivelyrnexperimental. The humanrnspecies, the sluggish Homornsapiens, will once again enter thernstate of radical reconstruction andrnwill become in its own hands thernobject of the most complex methodsrnof multicultural-psychophysicalrntraining…. Passing out ofrngraduate school, the FeatherlessrnBiped will make it hir goal to exaltrnhir own emotions, to elevate hir instinctsrnto the heights of consciousness,rnto make them transparent. ..rnto create a higher sociobiologicalrntype, a supermammal if you will.rn. .. Equipped with advanced degrees,rnthe Featherless Biped willrnbecome incomparably stionger,rnwiser, subfler. Hir body will becomernmore harmonious, hir movementsrnmore rhythmic, hir voicernmore melodious. The ordinaryrnforms of mammalhood will rise tornthe heights of Ph.D.’s, J.D.’s,rnLL.D.’s. And beyond this ridge,rnother peaks will emerge;rnPostPh.D.’s, SuperJ.D.’s, Uber-rnLL.D.’s. The possibilities are glorious,rnthe promise of expansion endless.rnPresident Bleatiey also predicted thatrnhis children would live to see the campusrnof Lagado University stretching fromrnthe Wyoming border to the MissourirnRiver.rnJohn N. Frary is a professor of history atrnMiddlesex County College in Edison,rnNew jersey.rnLetter FromrnFlorencernby Andrei NavrozovrnThe Chic and the PsychicrnI already sounded the alarm in lastrnmonth’s letter. This really is an impossiblerncity to get out of And so, having bidrnmy farewells, I’m still here, despite thernfact that the rent has been paid in advancernon a perfectiy adequate little aeriernover the Grand Canal in Venice. Thernplace even has a spacious terrace, overlookingrnthe charred remains of thernFenice, where, once I grow tired of lookingrnat those perennially idle, cheerfullyrnchrome-yellow construction cranes paidrnfor by the friends of opera everywhere,rnmy future correspondence will originate.rnIf ever I get myself onto this spacious terracernof mine, that is.rnThe hereditary proprietor of the Venetianrnpalazzo. Baron F-, turned out to be arncousin of a friend of mine from Cambridge,rnwhich was discovered quite byrnchance while the estate agent was showingrnme around the vacant apartment. Sornwe immediately sat down to some suitablyrnamazing crystalline white from thernVeneto, and by and by the conversationrnturned to Florence and her ways. WhenrnI told him where I was staying, an ominousrnshadow crossed his brow. ‘Tou willrnnot be here before spring, my friend,” hernsaid. “I can take your money now if yournlike, but you will not be here in time forrnthe carnival. I know Florence, and Irnknow these people. They will not let yourngo when you want to leave. They wantrn42/CHRONICLESrnrnrn