Reading the Exeter Book Riddles as Life-Writing | The Review of English Studies | Oxford AcademicHow many men are clever enough to identify who sends me on my journey? I go, brave and roaring across the earth, burning buildings and houses in my wake. Smoke rises from the fires as I leave in a trail of disruption and death. I have the power to shake tall trees until their leaves fall down, covered in water, and scatter exiles far from their lands. I carry the bodies and souls of human beings on my back. Where do I retreat to, and what is my name?
Ashley Wass on the Exeter Book
The Exeter Book of Riddles
R iddles tend to be metaphorical indeed, the trick is to discern what the metaphor signifies and, in that sense, are somewhat like kennings, where a compound expression such as "sea horse" substitutes for "ship. This notion of an inanimate object speaking in its own voice can be seen in the Alfred Jewel, the inscription of which reads "Alfred ordered me to be made" or, even more poignantly, in The Dream of the Rood , where the cross itself recounts the crucifixion of Christ. At the end of the Exeter Book , there are almost a hundred riddles or enigmata , a dozen or so which are considered to be sexual in nature. Their charm is in the use of double-entendre , whereby one answer is suggested but another is meant, the reader teased by an innocuous object disingenuously described. A curiosity hangs by the thigh of a man, under its master's cloak. It is pierced through in the front; it is stiff and hard and it has a good standing-place. When the man pulls up his own robe above his knee, he means to poke with the head of his hanging thing that familiar hole of matching length which he has often filled before.
Here is a list of solutions for the Exeter Book Riddles as numbered in the translation. In many cases, answers are just provisional, and still the subject of some.
torah books of the bible
I. Portrayals of Early Life
A facsimile segment of the Exeter Book Riddles fol. These findings, I believe, are without precedent before my discoveries in The examples suggest that much more elaborate patterns of playfulness may have been encoded in early English texts than we have previously surmised. The numbering systems imposed on the Riddles by various editors over the years is variable. Since the scribal text divides word elements, I tend to do that, too, in my decipherings, though leaving out spaces between words would often produce other results that the Riddler s may have anticipated and toyed with. RNG, September And then one goes at it—a tedious, frustrating, and finally open-ended process with ambiguous outcomes that are authorially framed and guided.
The book was donated to the library of Exeter Cathedral by Leofric , the first bishop of Exeter , in It is believed originally to have contained leaves, of which the first 8 have been replaced with other leaves; the original first 8 pages are lost. The Exeter Book is the largest known collection of Old English literature still in existence. The Exeter Book is generally acknowledged to be one of the great works of the English Benedictine revival of the tenth century; the precise dates that it was written and compiled are unknown, although proposed dates range from to This period saw a rise in monastic activity and productivity under the renewed influence of Benedictine principles and standards. At the opening of the period, Dunstan 's importance to the Church and to the English kingdom was established, culminating in his appointment to the Archbishopric at Canterbury under Edgar and leading to the monastic reformation by which this era was characterised. This book has been widely assumed to be the Exeter Codex as it survives today.