Keeping Calm and Carrying On

0 0 945


Well, I'm trying at any rate. Right now that means moving along with the 10th edition of Signs of Life in the U.S.A. We're in the copyediting stage, which can be (and is being) conducted entirely through digital technology. I remember the old days when we had to paste up every page of the text and mail everything in to Bedford Books. This was before the Internet changed everything—when researching new readings meant going in person to the library and photocopying every selection. An era of post-it notes on copyedited pages and endless back-and-forth FedEx or UPS deliveries, of word processing but no email file attachments. At least we had a toll-free phone number we could use when talking to our editor.

And, no, I'm not nostalgic for that time. In fact, I don't know how we managed at all, especially when Sonia and I were also still composing editions of California Dreams and Realities, segueing directly from the completion of one text to the other in a continuous stream of textbook creation. And I presume that without these technologies, which we all take for granted now, there would have had to have been some sort of interruption to our work on the new edition of Signs of Life. But thanks to the Internet, we can all work from home (authors and publishing team alike), so “Number 10” will actually be wrapped up in record time.

That's a comfort in these troubled times, when the future is largely a giant question mark and the present is like a bewildering dream. And that is an experience that requires no semiotic exegesis.

Photo Credit: Pixabay Image 683901 by Hermann, used under Pixabay License

About the Author
Jack Solomon is Professor Emeritus of English at California State University, Northridge, where he taught literature, critical theory and history, and popular cultural semiotics, and directed the Office of Academic Assessment and Program Review. He is often interviewed by the California media for analysis of current events and trends. He is co-author, with the late Sonia Maasik, of Signs of Life in the U.S.A.: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers, and California Dreams and Realities: Readings for Critical Thinkers and Writers, and is also the author of The Signs of Our Time, an introductory text to popular cultural semiotics, and Discourse and Reference in the Nuclear Age, a critique of poststructural semiotics that proposes an alternative semiotic paradigm.