Synopses & Reviews
This book collects eighteen previously unpublished essays on the riddle--a genre of discourse found in virtually every human culture. Hasan-Rokem and Shulman have drawn these essays from a variety of cultural perspectives and disciplines; linguists, anthropologists, folklorists, and religion and literature scholars consider riddling practices in Hebrew, Finnish, Indian languages, Chinese, and classical Greek. The authors seek to understand the peculiar expressive power of the riddle, and the cultural logic of its particular uses; they scrutinize the riddle's logical structure and linguistic strategies, as well as its affinity to neighboring genres such as enigmas, puzzles, oracular prophecy, proverbs, and dreams. In this way, they begin to answer how riddles relate to the conceptual structures of a particular culture, and how they come to represent a culture's cosmology or cognitive map of the world. More importantly, these essays reveal the human need for symbolic ordering--riddles being one such form of cultural ritual.
"A big plus is that these well-written essays are generally accessible to upper-level college students, as well as to graduate students and researchers."--Choice
"...the issue of existential expressivity has been wonderfully illuminated in these essays, and for that scholars and curious lay readers will be grateful."--Magill's Literary Annual 1997
"...the intellectual "edge" of the volume and of the individual studies remains as sharp as ever. Untying the Knot is a significant contribution to the scholarship of riddles and related enigmas."--Anthropological Linguistics
This collection contains 18 essays on the riddle - a genre of discourse found in almost every human culture. The authors seek to understand the expressive power of the riddle and the cultural logic of its particular uses. They also scrutinize its logical structure and linguistic strategies.
Untying the Knot collects eighteen previous unpublished essays on the riddle--a genre of discourse found in virtually every human culture. Hason-Rokem and Shulman have drawn these essays from a variety of cultural perspectives and disciplines; linguists, anthropologists, folklorists, and scholars of religion and literature consider riddling in Hebrew, Finnish, Indian languages, Chinese, and classical Greek.
About the Author
Poet and Essayist, Galit Hasan-Rokem is Professor of Folklore at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. David Shulman is Professor of Indian Studies and Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Table of Contents
General and theoretical -- Hebrew riddles -- Enigmatic modes in India -- Chinese riddling -- Notes from the West.