How to cover your Derrida

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Some people have wreaths of dead leaves and smelly pumpkin candles. People are on the streets with scarves and 'light jackets.' Traffic sucks around normally empty football stadiums. It's fall.

In addition to this madness, your normal {INSERT NAME OF 'HIP' COFFEE SHOP HERE WITH FARMHOUSE TABLES FROM 'DISTRESSED'/'RECLAIMED' WOOD THAT THEY RECLAIMED FROM A YARD SALE LAST WEEK} is irrationally packed with young earnest white girls in sorority shirts and giddy, glassy-eyed asian boys sharing code words. They are studying and spending lots of money on an education.

You know what you must do now. You must assume the writer persona and pull out the appropriate pseudo-philosophical texts so that the appropriate coffee shop signifiers can be fulfilled.

But there's a problem. You don't know Guattari from Guitar Hero. You accidentally believe structuralists have something to do with mechanical drafting. You may or may not have seen a hot rom-com starring Juliia Kristeva. You swear Antonio Gramsci scored three touchdowns last weekend and that you're wearing your best pair of skinny Levi-Strauss right now (which you are).

You are a literary writer, so naturallly, you are a poseur–making up stuff is your specialty. But there is a way to keep a cool composure so you're not stumbling through the Barthes. You need some good books to set out in front of your quadruple-shot latte so the sorority girls give you a 2nd glance and the asian bros will shut up when you glare their way once they become too rowdy.

Cover your Derrida with these suggestions from The Millions. They give you the rundown on structuralists controversies, the original source documents for deconstruction, the history of British post-structuralism, and even stuff on 'theory' after theory because as any good theorist knows, theory was the next thing to die after the author.

If you need some more stuff to tie you over, throw some Eagleton or Said in your pack. And find your way to Bloom for some good ol' traditional controversy.

The fall is for some serious lit theory faking. Get your act together. Oh yeah, and there's always Wikipedia.