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

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Wed May 31 09:49:43 EDT 2017

See below.

      From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
 To: Joel Berson <berson at att.net> 
 Sent: Monday, May 29, 2017 10:13 PM
 Subject: Re: OT: Sheelanagige was Re: It was not permitted to pass.

On May 29, 2017, at 9:25 PM, Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET> wrote:


(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.  

JSB:  A Freudian psychiatrist of my acquaintance once took that detour.

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.
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…


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