A Fine Piece of Ass. Solving Jan Kochanowski’s Gadka Cover Image

O dupie Maryni. Rozwiązywanie Gadki Jana Kochanowskiego
A Fine Piece of Ass. Solving Jan Kochanowski’s Gadka

Author(s): Radosław Grześkowiak
Subject(s): History, Cultural history, Modern Age, 16th Century
Published by: Instytut Historii im. Tadeusza Manteuffla Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Jan Kochanowski; old sexuality; poetics of a riddle; scatological humour; ribald humour;

Summary/Abstract: The paper focuses on the literary riddle written in the 16th century by Jan Kochanowski (Fraszki III 78), concerning an animal with one eye that is shot at with arrows without arrowheads. The answer to the riddle is still debated by exegetic researchers. The author discusses the answers proposed so far (firearm, a homosexual’s anus, a female anus, an outhouse), starting with detailed lexical analysis of the epigram. Having discussed the poetics of the Old Polish ambiguous ribald riddle (suggesting indecent associations, but leading to an innocent answer) and the differences in the perception of the female body in the 16th century and today, the author shows that the audience of the riddle in the times of Kochanowski reached the conclusion that the answer was a female vagina. This trivial solution still seems to be the most probable answer.

  • Issue Year: 60/2016
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 111-141
  • Page Count: 31
  • Language: Polish