The Epic of Gilgamesh

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Overview


Since the discovery over one hundred years ago of a body of Mesopotamian poetry preserved on clay tablets, what has come to be known as the Epic of Gilgamesh has been considered a masterpiece of ancient literature. It recounts the deeds of a hero-king of ancient Mesopotamia, following him through adventures and encounters with men and gods alike. Yet the central concerns of the Epic lie deeper than the lively and exotic story line: they revolve around a man’s eternal struggle with the limitations of human nature, and encompass the basic human feelings of lonliness, friendship, love, loss, revenge, and the fear of oblivion of death. These themes are developed in a distinctly Mesopotamian idiom, to be sure, but with a sensitivity and intensity that touch the modern reader across the chasm of three thousand years. This translation presents the Epic to the general reader in a clear narrative.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Andrew George has skillfully bridged the chasm between a scholarly re-edition and a popular work”
London Review of Books

“Humankind’s first literary achievement...Gilgamesh should compel us as the well-spring of which we are inheritors...Andrew George provides an excellent critical and historical introduction.”
—Paul Binding, Independent on Sunday

“This volume will endure as one of the milestones markers...[George] expertly and easily conducts his readers on a delightful and moving epic journey.”
—Samuel A. Meier, Times Literary Supplement

“Appealingly presented and very readably translated...it still comes as an exhilarating surprise to find the actions and emotions of the Sumerian superhero coming to us with absolute immediacy over 30-odd centuries.
Scotsman

“Andrew George has formed an English text from the best of the tablets, differentiating his complex sources but allowing the general reader a clear run at one of the first enduring stories ever told.”
—Peter Stothard, The Times

“An exemplary combination of scholarship and lucidity...very impressive...invaluable as a convenient guide to all the different strands which came together to produce the work we now call Gilgamesh.”
—Alan Wall, Literary Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804717113
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1989
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 229,523
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

N K Sandars has worked extensively in the fields of archaeology and prehistory and is a fellow of the British Academy. Her book of poems, Grandmother's Steps & Other Poems, was published in 2000.

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