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The Epic of Gilgamesh (Penguin Classics) by…

The Epic of Gilgamesh (Penguin Classics) (edition 2003)

by Anonymous, Andrew George (Translator)

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7,01992515 (3.83)89
Title:The Epic of Gilgamesh (Penguin Classics)
Other authors:Andrew George (Translator)
Info:Penguin Classics (2003), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Read & Owned, Your library (inactive)
Tags:Iraq, Middle East, Asia, Dead/Endangered Language, Translated, Ancient Lit., Mythology, 20th Century BCE, Non-Western

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The Epic of Gilgamesh by Anonymous


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English (88)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (92)
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
Read it. A lot of later epics, fables, stories have found their source here. The tale of the Great Flood is here hundreds of years before its mention in Genesis. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Gilgamesh is a real illustration of progress. It's the world's oldest story--about a thousand years before The Iliad and even longer before the Bible. Which makes it a fascinating historical document. But, to me, much of it read like immature nonsense. Sure there were neat parts, battles, floods, etc. And sure it was interesting that the mind thousands of years ago went through many of the same emotions and issues that we go through today. And sure it is an interesting historical document. But much of it is also a slog. It's possible the experience would have been different if, like Greek Mythology or the Bible, one had a grounding and came into it knowing who Gilgamesh, Utnapishtim and Enkidu. But I didn't. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
I finished The Epic of Gilgamesh. The hardest thing I had to deal with was picking a translation! The library had two choices: a translation by N. K. Sandars or one by Maureen Gallery Kovacs. I chose the Sandars one which translated the text into prose. I wish it were translated into poetic form, but with this one I got a real sense of the story.

The Kovac version was great as a reference because there were pictures from the British Museum with the Epic of Gilgamesh in art form from Ancient Assyria. There was also a map. Also, Kovac translated it into poetic verse with line numbers. However, the translator used ellipses whenever there was a break in the tablet or missing lines, so it made the translation more jagged.

This epic has it all: a creation by the Ancient Assyrian gods, an epic battle against the evil monster Humbaba, long journeys, an ancient flood story, and the search for eternal life. The flood story is similar to the Biblical account, except the ark is square and seven stories high which doesn't make sense because it would tip over. Also, it only rains for 7 days instead of 40. But, it is interesting to read the parallels. ( )
  heidip | Apr 7, 2014 |
Very easy to read, and accompanied by an introduction explaining the sequence of discovery of the different texts, and the gaps (although I recommend skipping straight to the story, and coming back for the scholastic details, as they do tend to detract from the enjoyment of the story for itself). Excellent, accessible translation, and a great old story. One comment, I notice some of the previous reviews include quotations from different translations? This translation is to me, very clear and straightforward, as are Stephen Mitchell's other translatons. ( )
  kmstock | Apr 6, 2014 |
Legendary King Gilgamesh fears only death. He travels to the edge of the underworld, past scorpion-people and across the Waters of Death, seeking Uta-napishti and his wife, the only humans ever granted immortality by the gods. Gilgamesh thinks they may share with him the secret of eternal life. For a third time Gilgamesh delivers verbatim the lament for his friend and companion, feral man Enkidu. I find the repetition mesmerizing.
The following is the Andrew George translation:

Said Uta-napishti to him, to Gilgamesh:
‘Why are your cheeks so hollow, your face so sunken,
your mood so wretched, your visage so wasted?

‘Why in your heart does sorrow reside,
and your face resemble one come from afar?
Why are your features burnt by frost and by sunshine,
and why do you wander the wild in lion’s garb?’

Said Gilgamesh to him, to Uta-napishti:
‘Why should my cheeks not be hollow, my face not sunken,
my mood not wretched, my visage not wasted?

‘Should not sorrow reside in my heart,
and my face not resemble one come from afar?
Should not my features be burnt by frost and by sunshine,
and should I not wander the wild in lion’s garb?

‘My friend, a wild ass on the run,
donkey of the uplands, panther of the wild,
my friend Enkidu, a wild ass on the run,
donkey of the uplands, panther of the wild -

‘having joined forces we climbed the mountains,
seized and slew the Bull of Heaven,
destroyed Humbaba, who dwelt in the Forest of Cedar,
killed lions in the mountain passes -

‘my friend, whom I loved so dear,
who with me went through every danger,
my friend Enkidu, whom I loved so dear,
who with me went through every danger:
the doom of mortals overtook him.

‘Six days I wept for him and seven nights:
I did not surrender his body for burial
until a maggot dropped from his nostril.
Then I was afraid that I too would die,
I grew fearful of death, and so wander the wild.

‘What became of my friend was too much to bear,
so on a far road I wander the wild;
what became of my friend Enkidu was too much to bear,
so on a far path I wander the wild.

‘How can I keep silent? How can I stay quiet?
My friend, whom I loved, has turned to clay,
my friend Enkidu, whom I loved, has turned to clay.
Shall I not be like him and also lie down,
never to rise again, through all eternity?’
pp. 83-85
  maryoverton | Feb 14, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (94 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anonymousprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sîn-leqi-unninnĩEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kapheim, ThomIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, StephenTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burckhardt, GeorgTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feyter, Theo deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
George, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hämeen-Anttila, JaakkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kantola, TainaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kovacs, Maureen GalleryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maier, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marks, John H.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mason, HerbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maul, Stefan M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muss-Arnolt, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pasco, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salonen, ArmasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sandars, N. K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sandars, N.K.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schott, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vanstiphout, HermanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warring, LennartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Für Lilian.
First words
I will proclaim to the world the deeds of Gilgamesh. ...

trans. N.K. Sandars (1960)
It is an old story
But one that can still be told
About a man who loved
And lost a friend to death
And learned he lacked the power
To bring him back to life.

trans. Mason (1972)
The Story
of him who knew the most of all men know;
who made the journey; heartbroken; reconciled;

who knew the way things were before the Flood,
the secret things, the mystery; who went

to the end of the earth, and over; who returned,
and wrote the story on a tablet of stone.

trans. Ferry (1992)
He who saw the Deep, the country's foundation,
    (who) knew . . . , was wise in all matters!
(Gilgamesh, who) saw the Deep, the country's foundation
   (who) knew . . . , was wise in all matters!

(He) . . . everywhere . . .
   and (learnt) of everything the sum of wisdom. 
He saw what was secret, discovered what was hidden. 
   he brought back a tale of before the Deluge.

trans. George (1999) 
He had seen everything, had experienced all emotions,
from exaltation to despair, had been granted a vision
into the great mystery, the secret places,
the primeval days before the Flood. ...

trans. Mitchell (2004)
Last words
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Disambiguation notice
This work is any complete, unabridged translation of the Standard Version of The Epic of Gilgamesh. To quote the FAQ on combining - "A work brings together all different copies of a book, regardless of edition, title variation, or language." Translations of the Old Babylonian Versions should remain separate, as should translations of the early Sumerian Gilgamesh stories and poems from which the epic came to be.
Based on currently accepted LibraryThing convention, the Norton Critical Edition is treated as a separate work, ostensibly due to the extensive additional, original material included.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 014044100X, Paperback)

This edition provides a prose rendering of The Epic of Gilgamesh, the cycle of poems preserved on clay tablets surviving from ancient Mesopotamia of the third mi llennium B.C. One of the best and most important pieces of epic poetry from human history, predating even Homer's Iliad by roughly 1,500 years, the Gilgamesh epic tells of the various adventures of that hero-king, including his quest for immortality, and an account of a great flood similar in many details to the Old Testament's story of Noah. The translator also provides an interesting and useful introduction explaining much about the historical context of the poem and the archeological discovery of th e tablets.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:15 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Adaptation of English translations of: Gilgamesh. Includes bibliographical references.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014044100X, 0140449191

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