[Ads-l] OT: Sheelanagige was Re: It was not permitted to pass.

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon May 29 22:13:03 EDT 2017


> On May 29, 2017, at 9:25 PM, Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
> 
> The Wikipedia article "Vagina dentata" has a "See also" to its article (wait) "Sheela na gig".  Which then, of course, has a "See also" to "Vagina dentata".  But neither article has any discussion of its relationship to the other.

And yet they’re both in the category of “things you can’t unsee (also)”. 
 
> 
> 
> (Wikipedia discusses "vagina dentata" "In folklore" (Hinduism, Shintoism, Maori), but surely it goes back to Greek mythology?)

Hmmm.  Which myth are you thinking of, Medusa the Gorgon?  I’d never really considered her as a manifestation of the V.D. motif (as it were), although being turned to stone isn’t a walk in the park either.  But I see that if you detour through Freud you can see her in that light, or some have claimed to.  Apparently the snaky hair represents the mother’s pubic patch glimpsed by the young boy, who is thus afflicted with fears of castration (even more than he would have been anyway).  I don’t see it, but there’s this depiction of the relation of Medusa to the V.D. motif in a particularly well-argued passage excerpted from a paper in _Bits of Organization_, a 2009 volume edited by Alison Pullen and Carl Rhodes, found by searching “Vagina Dentata” + “Medusa”; emphasis mine.

====================
https://tinyurl.com/y7to5ndq

Turning to Freud, in _Medusa’s Head: The Vagina Dentata and Freudian Theory_, Creed (1993) explores the implications of the vagina dentata in Freud’s work arguing that in his writing there is a repression of the vagina dentata. Freud puts forth a number of theories in which women’s genitals could appear castrating rather than castrating. However, viewed from a different perspective, Creed notes that each of these theories support, with increasing validity, the argument that a woman’s genitals appear castrating.    [p. 168]
====================

(No, there are no typos in the above passage, or at least none of mine. The author may or may not be named Alison Linstead; Google Books makes it hard to tell.)
I find it intriguing that this book is published by the Copenhagen Business School Press, in their “Advances in Organization Studies” series.  I have to think business school is different in Denmark…

LH








> 
> Joel
> 
> ________________________________
> From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
> Sent: Monday, May 29, 2017 7:54 PM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] OT: Sheelanagige was Re: It was not permitted to pass.
> 
>> On May 29, 2017, at 6:49 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> 
>> Toothed?  That's a new on on me.
> 
> Just your standard garden variety vagina dentata, no?
>> 
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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