January 18, 2013

"I always start with physicality when I’m writing as a woman. So I always have a vagina and think about having periods."

Said Will Self, who has a new novel, "Umbrella," the title of which is based on the Joyce quote "A brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella."

By the way, the first appearance of the word "umbrella" in English, according to the OED (not linkable), came in 1611:
T. Coryate Crudities sig. Lv,   Many of them doe carry other fine things.., which they commonly call in the Italian tongue vmbrellaes... These are made of leather something answerable to the forme of a little cannopy & hooped in the inside with diuers little wooden hoopes that extend the vmbrella in a prety large compasse.
That predates the first use of "vagina," which was in 1682:
T. Gibson Anat. Humane Bodies 20   It has passages..for the neck of the Bladder, and in Women for the vagina of the Womb.
The etymology of "vagina" is: "Latin vāgīna sheath, scabbard." The etymology of "umbrella" is: "Italian ombrella and ombrello, < ombra < Latin umbra shade."

Here's Perry Como singing "Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella."

Fill in the blank: Let a smile be your umbrella. Let a _________ be your vagina.

48 comments:

tiger said...

Geeze. :)

I have no response except to say:
'Heh'

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Taco. Wife made one for breakfast this morning. Silky soft corn tortilla, over easy egg with runny yoke, ground turkey meat, onion, jalapeno.... Hot, spicy, tasty.

Tim said...

"Let a smile be your umbrella. Let an assault weapon with a high capacity magazine be your vagina."

Works for me.

Oso Negro said...

We can never have too many posts about vaginas.

Shouting Thomas said...

Let a whiny complaint be your vagina!

Shouting Thomas said...

We can never have too many posts about vaginas.

There are approximately 3.3 billion on this earth. Each equally deserving of government subsidies.

Meade said...

I have no response except to say:
'Heh'


Smile when you say that, cowboy.

Chip Ahoy said...

Soft taco, right?

AllenS said...

Let a smile be your umbrella. Let a wise Latina be your vagina.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Soft taco, right?

Oh yeah!

(Much better than ham 'nd eggs, grits, coffee.)

chickelit said...

The etymology of "vagina" is: "Latin vāgīna sheath, scabbard.

The German word for vagina is Scheide which is cognate with sheath.

Scheidefreude is the joy of vagina.

David said...

Asshole.

Someone had to say it.

ricpic said...

How much is that vagina in the window, arf arf,
The one with the waggly tail?

chickelit said...

David said...
Asshole.

Such umbrage!

traditionalguy said...

A tight glove sounds the best to me.

Or in some cases, a Honey Badger. The Honey Badger just don't care.

chickelit said...

Is a penumbra a hermaphrodite?

Chip Ahoy said...

Ha! That's where I stopped. Why click to page 2 when page 1 isn't all that arresting?

I always start with physicality when I’m writing as a woman. So I have these two tits hanging there pendulously and I think, "perk up!" and then I rub an ice cube on them and they do.

bagoh20 said...

What is thing of which you speak, this "vagina"?

I should probably learn more. Can anyone advise me in what corner of the Earth I might encounter one which I may examine? I hope to avoid repeating my current embarrassment from being the only one not familiar with this apparently fascinating oddity.

Will I need any special equipment to facilitate my exploration and education? Will supplies be needed, or possibly inoculations? Also what will be required in terms of porters, beasts of burden, or watercraft? It goes without saying that I will need some good stout men and arms for protection. I don't wish to repeat the fiasco I endured when I went in search of the elusive Taint.

Meade said...

"A tight glove sounds the best to me."

Sure, unless it doesn't fit. And then you're all like whoa, now I must housesit!

chickelit said...

traditionalguy said...
A tight glove sounds the best to me.

Why the preference for digital bifurcation and articulation?

Why not Mitt?

rhhardin said...

Gladius, sword, meant penis

deborah said...

Is that a gun in you pocket, or are you just gladius to see me?

Bob Boyd said...

Let a smile be your umbrella. Let tonsils be your vagina.

Chip Ahoy said...

bagoh20, it's a thing of great diversity sometimes made of plaster apparently. A thing flaunted by 400 women on the Great Wall of Vaginas. Probably a good place to start one's research, because of variety and not colored in. That would not be a good place to start -- a wall of colored in vaginas. Too overwhelming.

traditionalguy said...

Chickelit...I have never tried bifurcation, although articulation at the right moment sounds good.

X said...

""I always start with physicality when I’m writing as a woman. So I always have a vagina and think about having periods.""

then you take away reason and accountability and voila!

EMD said...

X beat me to the punch.

edutcher said...

Let a Lefty mind be your vagina. They're both empty, after all.

rhhardin said...

Gladius, sword, meant penis

I thought penis meant penis. Now I find out it means tail.

Hmmmm....

PS Gladius means sword, but may have been euphemized.

rhhardin said...

Sword A wedding in cherokee county.

David said...

Think about this:

"If it flies, floats or fucks, lease it."

(Old Marine saying, no longer permitted in polite company.)

Vaginas can bring out the worst in men. Maybe that's the point.

bagoh20 said...

I've been told that often there is a landing strip nearby in a place known as the "Mound of Venus". Are there comfortable accommodations there, or will we be forced to rough it in the bush? That's fine with me, I've been practicing my skills at starting a fire with nothing but my bare hands. You'd be amazed at how quickly I can complete the task.

chickelit said...

@bagoh20: If you're ever in Wisconsin, be sure to visit the Cave Of The Mounds.

chickelit said...

Sheathing with penis-envy

chickelit said...

or penis ennui...

bagoh20 said...

Cave of the Mounds? Oh no, Chicklit I can't go to a strip bar. I get a funny feeling, like when I climb the rope in gym class. It's scary.

Johanna Lapp said...

Smile is to umbrella as vertical smile is to vertical umbrella.

Guimo said...

Unless you're in the Orient.

Smilin' Jack said...

Fill in the blank: Let a smile be your umbrella. Let a _________ be your vagina.

Rihanna. Actually I'd prefer Ann Hathaway, but that doesn't scan as well.

Crunchy Frog said...

Q: How do you write women so well?

A: I start with a man, and I take away reason and accountability.

Crunchy Frog said...

Q: How do you write women so well?

A: I start with a man, and I take away reason and accountability.

flotsam jetsam said...

Let a favor

or book

tiger said...

Meade said...
I have no response except to say:
'Heh'

Smile when you say that, cowboy.


Ok, I will:

I have no response except to say:
'Heh' :)

sydney said...

The best portrayal of a woman I have ever read written by a man was Mrs. Bridge. The author did a much better job of portraying her than he did of portraying Mr. Bridge. Didn't like that novel at all. I was surprised to learn the author was a man after I had read the two books.

I don't know what kind of mind frame he used, though. Speaking for myself, as a woman, I rarely consider the vagina. That sounds like something a man would do if he were trying to find something to substitute for his penis in a woman. The breasts fill that role in women more than the vagina.

Methadras said...

50 shades of red?

Jose_K said...

There is spaniard collection of erotics books called the vertical smile.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "Fill in the blank: Let a smile be your umbrella. Let a _________ be your vagina."

God, this made me flash on Gene Rayburn in the 70's with his skinny pointy microphone on "Match Game". He would always say "blank" for the missing word, then Brett Somers would say "cockenspleil".

RigelDog said...

A helping hand

Lem said...

Let a smile be your umbrella. Let a Naomi Wolf be your vagina.