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The Epic of Gilgamesh (Penguin Classics) Paperback – April 29, 2003
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—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.
“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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Top Customer Reviews
George's translation, however, is in verse and adds vigor to what appeared to me, for years, to be a bland jumping off point for bigger and better epics of later eras. I flew through this translation, hanging on every word, and was almost sad to see it end.
The notes and critical bits were nice as well, and the numerous lacunae showed me just how little of the full story we really have. Heartbreaking, really, and it made appreciate those bored people I used to pity.
If you're new to The Epic of Gilgamesh and want an engaging, readable verse translation of it, this is the one to buy.
George prepared for Oxford UP in 1999 a two-volume edition, and this Penguin adapts the core of the English translation for a wider audience. It appears ideal for a college classroom or the reader wanting to learn more about the lacunae, the gaps, the language, and the editorial decisions made by George and fellow translators. A fascinating appendix shows how out of grammatical markers, syllabic, and half-syllabic cuneiform incisions the sounds and rhythms and absences that fill this most ancient of narratives turn into what we can understand. To a point.
Terms such as "louvre-door," "glacis-slope," "hie to the forge," and notably Ishtar's exhortation to "stroke my quim" give a rather archaic diction to parts of the translation. George aims obviously for precision in such terminology, but this does clash with the more demotic vernacular chosen by Mitchell in his popularization. Mitchell's also considerably more erotic and develops passages that in their original state, reading George, remain terse.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An academic take on Gilgamesh. What I love is how, as the story moves along, the editor explains what tablets are being pulled from and where pieces of the tablet are missing.Published 23 days ago by James C. Coker
The book came ripped on the back cover. Still legible, but very disappointing.Published 27 days ago by James Base
My husband loves the Bible, all mythology- anything historical and beautifully written.Published 1 month ago by Jennifer Golden
I bought this book for my humanity class, and I had only read the part my professor assigned it to me. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Justin Hsu