Christ's sweat, blood, and dirt magically transform the handkerchief into an apotropaic
Analogously, the wearing of Virginia Woolf's image on one's chest, like Perseus' or Athena's or the Greek warriors' apotropaic
wearing of Medusa's head on their aegis or shield, becomes an act of both self-protection and defiance: a claiming of Virginia Woolf's powers, including her feminist agency, for oneself.
Others--especially neo-Marxists--will have a very different attitude toward it, a magical or apotropaic
attitude, as if to ward off a bad spell; or else they ignore it in audible silence.
That passage, together with Oberon's apotropaic
blessing on the offspring of the three weddings ('Never mole, harelip, nor scar.
But Ephrem implies that until the final triumph of God's Kingdom, the force of divinity within the believer is also specifically apotropaic
in the place where the dead repose.
This edition is identical to the 11976 translation; apparently Johns Hopkins UP bought the rights, but no one bothered to add an index (perhaps because it would include terms such as "apotropaic
" and "hesychasm").
Abrams writes with impressive critical sophistication, using many hard words (aporetic, apotropaic
, epigone--"I'll get 'em all three all ready"), but his discussions of style are often tendentious, sometimes self-contradictory.
the exclusion of women from Foucault's vision while at the same time acknowledging the utility of his critique of sexual confession as an apotropaic
device, a strategy to deflect the inquisitorial gaze from its ordained target, the subject's (and a fortiori the female subject's) sex" (227).
Statues may be apotropaic
, able to bind wandering spirits and prevent them from troubling the land.(53) Take the case of the image of Actaeon at Orchomenos (9.38.5):
Hence the apotropaic
plaque showing a dice-pot alongside the phalli of hoped-for good fortune (and the avoidance of bad luck).(81) Formal oracles could take the form of interpretation of the throw of dice.(82) It was worth dedicating the boards to the gods.(83) The rather tame literary versions of these aphorisms in the Latin Anthology include the sensible NULLUS UBIQUE POTEST FELICI LUDERE DEXTRA, "no one can play with lucky right hand on all occasions".(54) As usual the mood of the actual tabulae is less measured and polished: real alea was in deadly earnest.
If Medusa's head takes the place of a representation of the female genitals, or rather if it isolates their horrifying effects from their pleasure-giving ones, it may be recalled that displaying the genitals is familiar in other connection as an apotropaic
It accounts especially for the apotropaic
function of inflicting wounds on the boy-man's body (scarification, circumcision, subincision, castration), and especially for the mandate to brave near-death tests of skill and endurance.