From the Web: Some Remarkable Comments On the Gilgamesh Epic

* It is a tale for adults. If this were a movie, I would rate it R for sex.

* Enkidu rocked. Everybody loves a wild man who becomes stately once he has a new haircut, drinks a bit and gets his mitts on some weapons!

* If nothing else, the monsters were fun.

* I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book. I wasn’t that interested (all I knew about it was that it was “Samarian poetry” which doesn’t grab my interest) but at least it was short.

* However, as this is not a propitious time for digging around Southern Iraq, we’ll probably have to wait awhile for Gilgamesh-themed tours to spring up.

* As in all good buddy cop movies, Gilgamesh and Enkidu don’t get along at first, but then their bromance blossoms. Together they have cool adventures, like killing Humbaba, Guardian of the Cedars (portrayed by Edward James Olmos). … In the end Gilgamesh dies, but I’m sure he’ll come back for the sequel.

* … my favorite lines have to be “Six days and seven nights I mourned over him/and would not allow him to be buried/until a maggot fell out of his nose.” You can’t beat that. 🙂

* The gods are childlike, impulsive and one-dimensional (this is especially apparent in Ishtar).

* I have not read the whole book, but I have read so much about the book and have read large chunks of the book. Thus reading the book in its entirety seems a waste of time.

* The Ancient Mesopotamians were feuled by pure machismo. Lots of sex and violence and I have to teach this to 9th graders in a Christian school. Tricky business.

* HA HA, FUCKER, SNAKE GOT YOUR YOUTH. (Best plot twist in the entire book.)

* Andrew George’s $8 synoptic edition on Penguin is a much better buy. George, a scholar not a poet, adheres slavishly to the original clay tablets and ends up with something that – heavens! – actually reads like poetry. Bless him! And damn Stephen Mitchell for having the crust to think he had something to bring to the table of the great and all-too-mortal King of Uruk.



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