I am currently in the early stages of a full blown existential crisis. This is not a new experience for me. I am a philosopher, by training and inclination. I sail these semi-roiling seas with some regularity. With that said, this particular incarnation of the troubles has some unique characteristics.
In the standard operational existential crisis Sam will retrieve a work from his philosophy bookshelf (segregated and kept distinct from the fiction shelves from which he and Lisa will visit more frequently), read or re-read some text or another, have a spin on the "what the hell am I doing with my life" carousel before falling placidly back into the numb stupidity of modern American consumerism.
While I have been re-reading Marcuse (and more recently - as in just today - Tom Frank and Guy Debord) this particular manifestation is less centered on a given text and more focused on the bookshelf itself.
More specifically I am currently sitting in my office chair, staring *at* my philosophy bookshelf and waiting quietly for *the shelf itself* to decry some meaning. I am attempting to read the shelf itself as a text.
Many folks will find this act to be somewhat odd and bordering on the irrational. Others will note the sign-signature-meaning relationship inherit in the consideration. I'll give equal weight to both parties in this instance.