This is a reprint; I first posted this review as part of “Fae Awareness Month” in 2011.
Tom Gustafson’s low-budget, independent, gay musical, Were the World Mine, arrived in 2008, swathed in lace and glitter and hot boy-on-boy action. Interspersed with the traditional Shakespearean scenes, acted out on a prep-school stage, are musically-enhanced fantasies that are some of the best moments of the film. Even when the film’s fairies aren’t in costume, the boys are still by turns argumentative, mischievous, aggressive, and tricky. Exactly as the Bard would have wanted them to be. How does the play – and more importantly, the mischievous fairies – fare as a small-town tale of homophobia and love?
“Semiotics is in principle the discipline studying everything which can be used in order to lie. If something cannot be used to tell a lie, conversely it cannot be used to tell the truth: it cannot in fact be used “to tell” at all.” ― Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics
Did you read “A Semiotics Primer for Writers, Part 1“? In that post, I talked about the basics of what semiotics is, and a little about how it’s applied to writing. These links go to articles and sites which will explain further:
David Chandler’s Semiotics for Beginners (1998) is online in its entirety here. This is a linguistics-based text that reads like college coursework from an old British professor, which some of you will hate and some of you will adore. It covers the history of the field and gives a foundation for later study to work from.
Arthur Asa Berger’s Cultural Criticism: Semiotics and Cultural Criticism is only available for sale at used bookstores but Dartmouth has one of the intro chapters up here. His Signs in Contemporary Culture: An Introduction to Semiotics is also quite a good place to start, and is available on Amazon here.
The Encyclopedia of Semiotics, edited by Paul Bouissac, Oxford U Press (1998) is available online here.
A Theory of Semiotics (Advances in Semiotics), Umberto Eco (1976). My favorite! You can get it from Amazon here.
Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language, Umberto Eco (1984). The whole thing is available here as a PDF. Also excellent.
SemiotiX – “A global information magazine. Its aim is to provide periodic snapshots of the situation of semiotic research in the world, with photos, editorials by, and profiles of, active semioticians, mini-reviews of books, state-of-the-arts at a glance, and selective publicizing of scholarly events.” Published by Semiotics Institute Online. They also offer online courses and an excellent archive of articles. They’re also working on an online semiotics encyclopedia here.
Signata – a scholarly journal put out by the Université de Liège. It’s not available to the public online, but if you’ve got JStor or other academic access, you should find it there.