chapter  16
10 Pages

The Eidetic Core of the Folk Riddle

This chapter explains that the line from Othello offers us an epitome of the image that constitutes a folk riddle. From the phenomenological point of view, it is important that the field of sexual content is represented by a visual image, eidos. The conjunction of the implicit and explicit subjects of a riddle is, in tropological terms, a grotesque. Here lies the root of the amusement in riddling. Moreover, the grotesque conjunction of the implicit image with the explicit answer is already inherent in the very structure of the former. The sexual image as such in the context of culture of defamiliarization is immanently contradictory, illogical. The folk riddle is an epitome of the culture of presenting the sexual. This in turn sheds light on the riddle as a form of expression: its two meanings, the explicit and the implicit, are actually but one double-meaning within which the first is a parody of the second, together they present a grotesque.