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Writings from Ancient Egypt (Penguin Classics) Kindle Edition
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I do have a few nits:
* The footnotes for each selection appear at the end of the selection, not at the bottom of the page. This makes for a lot of paging forward, as the footnotes are genuinely interesting. I soon learned the trick of putting my bookmark on the footnotes, but the paging was still distracting. I think, if there is ever a second edition, it would be much better if the footnotes were at the bottom of each page.
* It's hard to strike the right balance with footnotes: Too many, and they get distracting; too few, and the curious reader is left wanting more. Imho, Wilkinson comes in a little on the Too Few side: there were more than a few places I'd have liked a bit more gloss.
* Every so often, Wilkinson's colloquialisms slip into cliche, and there's a footnote like "Literally '...'". In almost every case, I found that I preferred the more literal version, as being both 'clear enough' and 'more Egyptian'.
* The book does not at all set out to be "interlinear" but I found myself wishing for line drawings of the original texts. I don't have any illusion at all that this would have helped me learn to read hieroglyphics, but I think it would have been interesting to see what some of the oft-repeated formulae looked like in the original. (This might be most appropriate for a trade edition, if and when.)
While I cannot speak to the accuracy, the translations of ancient Egyptian writings were interesting, enjoyable and certainly revealing. I found it fascinating to read the thoughts of working men instead of those of Pharaohs. Especially enjoyable for me were the Songs, the Tales, and the Teaching, "Be a Writer."
16 of the 41 selections here can also be found in Lichtheim's Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms,Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume II: The New Kingdom and Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume III: The Late Period. The differences in translation are small, but interesting nonetheless. However, Wilkinson's background and context to each document and before each section (on autobiographical inscriptions, battle narratives, lamentations, legal texts, letters, mortuary texts, royal inscriptions, songs, tales and teachings) is very helpful in getting not only a sense of how these writings are important, but how they reflect the thoughts, values and mores of the ancient Egyptians. For me, this was the real value of the text. I would also add that, unlike Lichtheim's anthology, these writings from throughout the 3000 year history of ancient Egypt is collected in a single volume.