November 22, 2017

"Brolliology" — the book about umbrellas.

Reviewed here, in The Washington Post:
A typical chapter skims the metaphysical and the dialectical, with the umbrella described variously as creating a “portable room,” as a “private sky” and “a hat with a handle.” Its combination of replaceability and contingency even “reads like a textbook symptom of late capitalism.” An early-19th-century article by J.S. Duncan classified umbrella wielders into familiar types such as the Sky-Striker and the Shield-Bearer, both of which species remain alas all too common to this day. And Rankine does not neglect such memorably sinister instances as the mysterious Umbrella Man present at Kennedy’s assassination and the 1978 murder of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov by way of a poisoned ferrule.
Here, you can buy it at Amazon. It would make a nice Christmas present especially alongside a stylish umbrella.

I'm making an "umbrella" tag now (and adding it retrospectively). It's a tag I've considered making before, so I'm reaching a tipping point. Absurdly, every time I've checked to see if I have an "umbrella" tag, I see that I have a tag "Obama's umbrella." (Weirdly, that tag has 5 posts. 6 now.)

Now, I'm tempted to by "Brolliology" just to see if the author discussed Obama's umbrella. No, I don't need to. There's a search-inside-the-book function at Amazon, and Obama does not make an appearance in "Brolliology," but that doesn't mean it's not a good book. Quite the contrary! I'm browsing around in it and like it a lot. Plenty of amusing illustrations. And it has what I love: miscellaneousness.

There. I bought it.

14 comments:

jwl said...

Short people will umbrellas are a menace to those of us who are tall.

anti-de Sitter space said...

No longer taking a by re the umbrella tag.

Michael said...

James Smith & sons or Swaine Adeney Brigg, both in rainy London, are the places to go for the very best.

campy said...

[...]Obama does not make an appearance in "Brolliology," but that doesn't mean it's not a good book.

No, really!?

richlb said...

The question is how you usually pronounce it:

UM-brell-ah

or

um-BRELL-ah

richlb said...

Also, I was expecting a glossy, large format picture book suitable for a coffee table. I really don't care enough about the history of the umbrella to read this.

rhhardin said...

I have forgotten my umbrella. Nietsche. Fragment. Curiously, he writes it in quotes.

It appears to be open to analysis but like a woman just sets stuff in motion. Nothing settles out. All there is is decoding.

tcrosse said...

Another Pretty-Boy bites the dust.

Partridge Family - Umbrella Man

DougWeber said...

Cable Car Clothiers in SF have great(expensive) umbrellas. Had one once. Got stolen. Not sure if the thief knew what he had gotten.

holdfast said...

The classic umbrella scene from A Bridge Too Far

Lt. Col. John Frost [Anthony Hopkins]: Hello, Harry.

Maj. Harry Carlyle [Christopher God]: Hello. Johnny.

Lt. Col. John Frost: You know, Harry; I always wanted to ask you, but didn't because I knew you so very much wanted me to and I didn't want to give you the satisfaction; but why the hell do you always carry that bloody umbrella?

Maj. Harry Carlyle: Memory. Bad...memory. Never could remember the password. Knew no Jerry would carry one. Had to prove...I was an Englishman.


The character of Maj. Carlyle was based on a real Brit officer named Digby Tatham-Warter. From his Wiki Bio:

"A Company were dropped away from the target of Arnhem Bridge and had to go through Arnhem where the streets were blocked by German forces. Digby led his men through the back gardens of nearby houses instead of attempting to advance through the streets and thus avoided the Germans. Digby and A Company managed to travel 8 miles in 7 hours while also taking prisoner 150 German soldiers including members of the SS. During the battle, Digby wore his red beret instead of a helmet and waved his umbrella while walking about the defences despite heavy mortar fire. When the Germans started using tanks to cross the bridge, Digby led a bayonet charge against them wearing a bowler hat. He later disabled a German armoured car with his umbrella, incapacitating the driver by shoving the umbrella through the car's observational slit and poking the driver in the eye

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digby_Tatham-Warter

holdfast said...

Apologies for the extra line space - please don't nuke me from orbit (it's the only way to be sure).

rehajm said...

Fuck you with your late capitalism crap, losers. Aint gonna help you push things your way.

Charlie said...

In Maine there's a museum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbrella_Cover_Museum

Amazing Quotes said...

Beautiful