Sunday, September 30, 2012

Octber 26 -- Epic of Gilgamesh

Meeting details:
Date: Friday, October 26, 2012
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Kansas City Public Library/Plaza Branch
Address: 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
We meet in the small meeting room.

We will meet to discuss the Epic of Gilgamesh.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from Mesopotamia, is amongst the earliest surviving works of literature. Parts of it are believed to date to 18th century BC and other parts the 13th to 10th Centuries BC.

4 comments:

Dr S said...

Would love to be there for this - hope you write a summary of the discussion!!!

Clif Hostetler said...

Link to text of the Epic (note Tablet XII not included because it's considered to be a sequel):
http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/

Link to Sparknotes for Epic of Giglgamesh:
http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gilgamesh/context.htm

A good review of the Epic (from enthusiastic reader):
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/137869579

Clif Hostetler said...

I’ve listened to the audio recording of Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Gilgamesh while at the same time following along with the text from the link in my previous comment above. I found Mitchell’s translation much more comprehendible and enjoyable than the more word-for-word literal translation from the AncientTexts.org website. Stephen Mitchell has also included some insightful commentary with his publication that is worth reading.

One good thing about the text from the AncientTexts.org website is that it indicates where the source text is missing. It’s my understanding that about a third of the original text of the so-call “Standard Version” has never been recovered.

The Standard Version dates from the 7th century BC library ruins of Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. Where text is missing, translators can refer to the "Old Babylonian" version where possible. The “Old Babylonian version is fragmentary and dates from the 18th century BC thus predating the Standard Version. Otherwise translators use their poetic imagination to fill in the missing parts.

The following Wikipedia link has more information about the epic:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgamesh

Clif Hostetler said...

The oldest story on earth was thoroughly reviewed and discussed at our October 26 meeting. Ten people were in attendance and included: Brian Pauls, Bernard Norcott-mahany, Tessa and Ben Morrissey, Kathryn Harris, Elizabeth, John Rasmus, Wilma Wyles, Tim Thurman, and Clif Hostetler.
The following is a link to my review of the Epic of Gilgamesh:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/442850801