I have been holding them close. After a year, I took out the first piece. Now, a month later, I am ready to take out another. I am writing this in Notepad right now, because I don't know what the title will be.

Before I begin my reading, I am thinking of Edmund Husserl and noema and noesis. Here, I have a pure, simple phenomenon, a story that can be read in ten seconds. Supposedly, I can bracket out everything. Or can I? Can I bracket out my previous reading? Can I bracket out the eight unopened pieces? Can I bracket out my memories of buying these for three cents when I am a child? Can I bracket out the gum? Yes, I probably can bracket out the gum. Even the devoutest believer in what a text can mean probably wouldn't know what to do with a big slab of flavored sugar and gum base. There is a lesser amount of soy lechitin, maybe enough that I don't even have to bracket that out, if I knew what it was. I am also bracketing out the fact that this gum was made in Tunisia. I also just realized, that despite the fact that I have been thinking about bracketting for a while, I totally missed the fact that I just reviewed a book by a woman named Leigh Brackett, and ironically, a large part of that review is that I was not able to bracket out Leigh Brackett from my examination of her text.

But here we go. Opening it up. (Carefully, don't want to get some type of Dead Sea Scrolls thing where I have to reconstruct the text). Chewing the gum.

Learn Spanish with Bazooka Joe

Kid with a blue baseball cap (who, despite my attempts to avoid a Dead Sea Scrolls situation, had his face slightly ripped.)

You say last night you were eating a giant marshmallow? Dices que anoche que sonaste que te comias una ... malva gigante?

Bald, baby faced kid, who I do remember from last time:

That's right! When I woke up the pillow was gone! Si, es cierto. Cuando desperte mi almohada habia desaparecido

Despite my attempt to open it gently, it appears a word is missing before "malva". And here we come upon the first problem with reading this through Husserlian bracketing. I should examine the phenonenom as it is, without recourse to the transcendent object. But here, I am faced with the fact that the transcendent object is both unattainable and unavoidable: I know that the author had an intent, an intent that I can not access because my physical text is damaged. I have already set up a distinction between the physical text and the intended text. And in a second irony, I am also given another version of the same text, in English. whatever the ripped word before "malva" is, I also "know" that it is whatever word is added to "malva" to mean "marshmallow"...although I doubt it is literally "humedal".

There is another reason why I found it difficult to read this in a simply phenomenological way. Rather than focusing on the joke these two characters were sharing, I thought about my own life. I am an English as a Second Language teacher, and today, I had an hour long class with my own Spanish teacher, followed by an hour long class with a Spanish student, followed by an hour with a Portuguese speaking student. So rather than focusing on the joke, this comic thrust me back into my own daily activities. Rather than reading it as a phenomenon, with my self present only as noesis, I was automatically thinking of it as involving myself as entity.

Also, and I noticed this just now: the Spanish and English translations differ, and in fact, the Spanish translation makes more sense. In English, bald baby faced kid refers to "The" pillow, a slightly unusual turn of phrase, as it would mean that either the pillow had already been discussed, it was a special pillow, or perhaps it was present. "Mi" pillow makes more sense, as the descriptive adjective lets the listener, baseball cap kid, know what is under discussion. And this further undermines our phenemonological reading of the text, because we are reminded that there is a more and less accurate version of the story. We are given two phenemona and are made to choose between them, and even more unphenomonologically, we must then choose something in the story that is not present in the 2 by 3 centimeter piece of paper: did, for example, baseball cap kid see a torn and bitten pillow and ask what happened? And once again I have to go outside of the brackets, because the bald baby faced kid, Herman, caused trouble in a previous adventure, and perhaps in a bit of dramatic irony, we are supposed to understand that this is a tall tale. But dramatic irony is probably not permissible in phenomenological readings, because it suggests an intersubjective agreement between narrator and reader, as transcedental selves, that is purposely missing from the phenomena presented.

In other words, I failed to read this comic in a Husserlian manner.


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