RIDDLES AND ENIGMAS.
Much of the best research that has been done recently on fiddles and related enigmatic modes of discourse has been undertaken by folklorists, usually working with various non-literary or non-Western traditions, and developing a theoretical model of these genres that has been largely folkloristic in inspiration, i.e., largely taxonomic, with at least some attention to the language and the social function of riddles. The collection of essays reviewed here, which developed out of discussions held at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University during the academic year 1988-1989, makes a valuable contribution to the study of the fiddle-genre on two counts. On the one hand, it is clear that all of the participants have wrestled with the extensive theoretical literature on the riddle and related modes. As a result the essays in this volume present a sophisticated overview of the present state of the art, and in some areas advance discussion well beyond previous treatments. On the other hand, the theoretical discussions in the volume are enriched by a wide range of source material, including a good number of essays devoted to the classical literary traditions that are a major focus of this journal.The collection is framed by a brief introduction and an afterword written by the editors, which provide the collection's general point of departure, as well as a summing up of the consensus of opinion among the participants at the close of a year's work on the subject of riddles. These will be discussed at the end of this review. The first of the collection's five sections is devoted to g...