Gilgamesh: A Reader

Gilgamesh: A Reader

Gilgamesh: A Reader

Gilgamesh: A Reader

Synopsis

25 Interpretive Studies on Gilgamesh and a Comprehensive Bibliography with over 1500 entriesGilgamesh: A Reader is a collection designed to: -- Enrich the reader's background information on the epic-- Help draw connections between Gilgamesh and other literature-- Stimulate thought and discussion-- Enliven interest in Gilgamesh

Excerpt

Gilgamesh: A Reader is a selection of twenty-five essays on the ancient stories of the Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh, primarily the stories written in cuneiform Akkadian known as Gilgamesh, The Epic of Gilgamesh or The Gilgamesh Epic. The selection is limited to essays in English that have appeared since the publication of Jeffrey H. Tigay's The Evolution of the Gilgamesh Epic in 1982. Tigay's work synthesized a century of scholarly debate about relationships among the different versions of Gilgamesh stories, and it very quickly changed the direction of literary studies of Gilgamesh. Nine English translations of The Epic of Gilgamesh appeared in the one hundred years following its discovery in 1872. In the little more than a decade after Tigay's Evolution eight more translations have appeared. Thus Tigay's book may be said to be a watershed in Gilgamesh studies.

The Reader divides the essays into three sections. The first, PHILOLOGICAL AND LITERARY STUDIES IN ENGLISH SINCE 1982, contains eight essays written by specialists in ancient languages and literature. The second section, INFLUENCES ON LATER LITERATURE, deals with connections between Gilgamesh and biblical, classical, medieval, and modern literature. With the exception of the essays by Bernard F. Batto, William L. Moran, and Stephanie Dalley, the essays were written by scholars in specialties outside Mesopotamia. In the last section, GILGAMESH FROM OTHER PERSPECTIVES, the essays were written exclusively by specialists outside Mesopotamia and often outside the study of languages and literature: students of depth psychology, gender studies, myth, anthropology, oral composition—even travel literature.

It should be emphasized at the outset that all three sections are selections from a large group of Gilgamesh studies. While they represent the main trends in Gilgamesh study since 1982, they constitute only a small sampling of the work on Gilgamesh, and the reader is invited to read the bibliography at the end of the collection for confirmation of the painful limitations of this collection. George Smith first reported on what has come to be known as Gilgamesh in . . .

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