As S.N. Kramer states in his excellent introduction to Sumerian `History, Culture and Literature': Sumer is the `cradle of civilization'. Its culture produced the first world literature with twenty myths, nine epic tales, more than two hundred hymns and hundreds of historiographical documents and `wisdom texts' (fables, proverbs, essays).
One of this tales is `Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth', written some 5000 years ago.
It is, by any standard, a remarkable text.
Its incantations have the power of a rhythmic cadence.
It has the images: `the agate necklace of fertility', `my vulva, the horn, the Boat of Heaven, is full of eagerness like the young moon. My untilled land lies fallow.'
It has the themes of love and sorrow, of good and evil and of life and death.
It has it symbolism: the descent of Inanna into the underworld. During her journey, she has to strip herself naked. Her body is `turned into a corpse, a piece of rotten meat, and was hung from a hook on the wall.'
It has its dream (of Demuzi) and its superb interpretation.
Diane Wolkstein wrote remarkable `Interpretations of Inanna's stories and Hymns', while Elizabeth Williams-Forte gave perfect explanations of the abundant graphic material.
All in all, this book is a splendid reconstruction of a remarkable tale.
A must for all lovers of world literature.