Herbert Mason is William Goodwin Aurelio professor of history and religious thought at Boston University. He lives in Phillipston, Massachusetts.
Gilgamesh: A Verse Narrativeby Herbert Mason
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Herbert Mason's best-selling Gilgamesh is the most widely read and enduring interpretation of this ancient Babylonian epic. One of the oldest and most universal stories known in literature, the epic of Gilgamesh presents the grand, timeless themes of love and death, loss and reparations within the stirring tale of a hero-king and his doomed friend. A finalist for the National Book Award, Mason's retelling is at once a triumph of scholarship, a masterpiece of style, and a labor of love that grew out of the poet's long affinity with the original.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 326 KB
- Age Range:
- 14 Years
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This is an excellent edition of one of the world's oldest stories. For first-time Gilgamesh readers I would highly recommend this (Herbert Mason's) version. It is a story of a man who learns what it is to be human when he meets his equal whom becomes his best friend. Death soon separates the two and Gilgamesh must learn about the true transient nature of life as well as loss as he attempts to resurrect his friend. This is probably not a story for the casual reader looking for a good yarn (sorry James Patterson fans) but for those interested in the root beliefs of one of the oldest civilizations on earth as well as the earliest forms that storytelling took, well then Gilgamesh is the essential starting point.
This translation is very readable. I taught it in a ninth grade English class, and the students were motivated to finish it. There are some parts that need to be handled with care--like the temple prostitute--but overall, gives students a glimpse into the world 4,000 years ago. It is a remider that people struggled with similar issues that we do now--fame, death, friendship, love. These themes are timeless.
It was fine, I personally liked the Stephen Mitchell translation better and would recommend it to anyone interested in reading the epic. Not suitable for kids
Of course, there is no return of Nook books, so I guess you just take your chances - so don't.
herbert mason's rendering of the gilgamesh epic is clean, vibrant, beautiful and quite moving ... Everything had life to me, he heard Enkidu murmur,/ The sky, the storm, the earth, water, wandering,/ The moon and its three children, salt, even my hand/ Had life. Its gone. Its gone. I have seen death/ As a total stranger sees another person's world