The Post-Taylorian Perspective
The history of riddle studies taken as a whole reveals a hermeneutic trajectory of immanent analysis that was not exactly in the minds of the scholars who pursued purely empirical tasks aimed at arranging collections of riddles in a compact systematic way. But when ready-made theories began to be applied to the riddle, the sound course of the search was lost. Under such conditions, field observations on riddle's functioning in natural settings, having supplied us with valuable data, have not much advanced the understanding of our subject. Even the highly important recognition of the riddle's answer as communal property has not produced a proper effect. In folk rituals, wherever they have been recorded, riddling presupposes communal knowledge of the answers. At the same time, his reflexive mode of thinking should be our inspiration. The post-Taylorian perspective begins with the question whether the morphological systematicity of the inner form has a unified meaningful reason of its own.