The central tale studied in Turandot’s Sisters, first published in 1993, is The Princess Who Can Not Solve the Riddle, AT 851. Other wisdom tales are surveyed to show that they are separate from the riddle tales in material and in spirit. Customs and beliefs concerning riddling and riddle contests are examined to see what motifs from the tales are taken from reality, leaving the rest to be either fantasy motifs or stylistic traits. The central tale AT 851 is analysed in detail to exhibit its obligatory and optional elements, a wealth of possibilities that enables it to adapt to a range of moods and to express a variety of ideas.
Table of Contents
1. The Comparative Study of Folktales 2. Riddle Tales from Literary Sources 2.1. From Ancient Sources: Classical 2.2. From Ancient Sources: Indian 2.3. From Medieval Sources: Eastern 2.4. From Medieval Sources: Western 2.5. Overview 3. The Princess Who Can Not Solve the Riddle 3.1. AT 851o: The Eastern Subtype 3.2. AT 851A: Turandot 3.3. AT 851B: The Unborn Hero 3.4. AT851C: The South European Subtype 3.5. AT 851D: The Germanic Subtype 3.6. AT 851: Creole Tales 3.7. Summary 4. Neck Riddles and Other Riddle Tales 4.1. Other Simple Riddle Tales 4.2. The Murdered Lover (Motif H805) 4.3. Other Complex Tales with Riddles 5. Riddle Themes 5.1. Cosmic Riddles 5.2. Monsters 5.3. The Dead and the Living 5.4. Human Relationships, Natural and Unnatural 5.5. Impossibilities 5.6. Puns 6. Wisdom Tales 6.1. The Battle of the Sexes 6.2. Catch the Devil Through a Riddle 6.3. Out of the Mouths of Babes 6.4. Man to Man 6.5. Oriental Wisdom Tales 6.6. Conclusion 7. Riddles in Folk Societies 7.1. Riddles and Power 7.2. Riddles and Sex 7.3. Riddles and Education 7.4. Riddling in Tales 8. The Style of the Tale 8.1. Rhythm 8.2. Human Relationships 8.3. Minor Characters 8.4. The Stage: Sets and Properties 8.5. Distinctive Qualities of the Subtypes 8.6. Novella and Märchen