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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever ancient, Ever New!, 27 Aug. 2007
By 
James Gallen (St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
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Although reputed to be the oldest story extant, "Gilgamesh" shows that human nature remains constant through the ages. The story of King Gilgamesh and his friend, Enkidu, record the age-old tale of rivalry and friendship, death and remorse and, ultimately, the search for immortality. These themes of daily life and parallels to modern statecraft render Gilgamesh as fresh as today's news.
Some features of "Gilgamesh" bear such a resemblance to the Bible as to clearly establish the Bible as a book of its time and culture. Gilgamesh contains a reference to seven years of famine (Joseph in Egypt), a flood story (similar to, but in critical ways different from Noah's) and sections of repeated dialogue, so reminiscent of Biblical sections. The explanatory essay by Stephen Mitchell helps the reader to understand the significance of portions of the tale's subtleties.
As the oldest surviving example of the literature of civilization, "Gilgamesh" should be within the ken of every civilized person. Besides that, it is entertaining reading.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man's life is short, 20 May 2008
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This is, without any doubt, a controversial translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the story of the love between the arrogant tyrant, Gilgamesh, and the wild man, Enkidu. After Enkidu's death Gilgamesh searches desperately how to overcome death, how to realize the impossible human dream of eternal life. But, `when the gods created mankind, they also created death, and held back eternal life for themselves alone.'
Instead of acting `as though human life lasted forever' ('Building houses, make contracts, brothers divide their inheritance, conflicts occur'), man should face head-on the fact that life is short and `carpe diem': `Gilgamesh, can't you see how fortunate you are? You have worn yourself out through ceaseless striving ... and what have you achieved but to bring yourself one day nearer to the end of your days?'

Is this text a literal translation? No. Is it a correct translation? No, already the sometimes long repetitions are not included, so no `bis repetita placent'. Is it a fair rendering of an original version? No. Is it a fair rendering of the original epic by using different versions? Yes.
So, this is not a text for scholars or students (for them I recommend A.R. George's `The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic'), but for the layman interested in world literature and its first masterpiece. Sîn-leqi-unninni wrote indeed a monumentally human poem, worth a Homeros.
A must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend this product, 16 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Gilgamesh: A New English Version (Audio CD)
A captivating translation, well read and presented. The accompanying author's essay both supported and highlighted the main themes of the epic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars gripping and a brilliant way of accessing this epic tale, 7 Aug. 2014
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Spinningmoon (Holmfirth, West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gilgamesh: A New English Version (Audio CD)
Wow, gripping and a brilliant way of accessing this epic tale. highly recommend it
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Gilgamesh: A New English Version
Gilgamesh: A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell (Audio CD - 1 Oct. 2004)
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