That's wonderful and thanks for sending this. I wish I was there and could attend. Any chance of someone filming it and putting it online?
From: Mark Ganzer [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, December 9, 2006 04:13 AM
To: 'Mark Ganzer'
Subject: High Culture Coming to Cary, IL -- Sunday, Dec 10, 2006
The Cary Public House is please to present:The
Live Musical Performance
All Ages Welcome
Admission is Free
Sunday, Dec 10, 2006 7 p.m.
Based on Professor Danny Jackson’s Translation
Music composed & sung by Mark Ganzer
Meet the publisher, the illustrator & an editor.
Discussion to follow the performance!
The epic is a broadly defined genre of poetry, and one of the major forms of narrative literature. It retells in a continuous narrative the life and works of a heroic or mythological person or group of persons. In the West, the Iliad, Odyssey and Mahabharata, Ramayana, Shahnama andEpic of King Gesar are often cited as examples of the epic genre. The composition of , or of long poems in general, has become uncommon in the Western world since the early 20th century. The term "epic" however has been recycled to refer to prose works, films, and similar works which are characterized by great length, multiple settings, large numbers of characters, or long span of time involved. As a result of this change in the use of the word, many prose works of the past may be called "epics" which were not composed or originally understood as such.; and in the East, the Epic of Gilgamesh,
The EPIC of GILGAMESH is an epic poem from Babylonia and is among the earliest known literary works. A series of Sumerian legends and poems about the mythological hero-king Gilgamesh, thought to be a ruler of the , were gathered into a longer Akkadian poem long afterward, with the most complete version extant today preserved on eleven clay tablets in the library collection of the 7th century BC Assyrian king Assurbanipal.
One of the stories included in the epic relates to the deluge. The essential story revolves around the relationship between Gilgamesh, a king who has become distracted and disheartened by his rule, and a friend, Enkidu, who is half-wild and who undertakes dangerous quests with Gilgamesh. Much of the epic focuses on Gilgamesh's feelings of loss following Enkidu's death.
The epic is widely read in translation, and the hero, Gilgamesh has become an icon of popular culture.
Gilgamesh's supposed historical reign is believed to have been approximately 2500 BC, 400 years before the earliest known written stories. The discovery of artifacts associated with Agga and of Kish, two other kings named in the stories, has lent credibility to the historical existence of Gilgamesh.
The earliest Sumerian versions of the epic date from as early as the Third dynasty of Ur (2100 BC-2000 BC). The earliest Akkadian versions are dated to ca. 2000-1500 BC. The "standard" Akkadian version, composed by was composed sometime between 1300 BC and 1000 BC. The standard and earlier Akkadian versions are differentiated based on the opening words, or incipit. The older version begins with the words "Surpassing all other kings", while the standard version's incipit is "He who saw the deep" (ša nagbu am?ru). The Akkadian word nagbu, "deep", is probably to be interpreted here as referring to "unknown mysteries".
The eleventh (XI) tablet contains the flood myth that was mostly copied from the Epic of Atrahasis. See .
A twelfth tablet sometimes appended to the remainder of the epic represents a sequel to the original eleven, and was added at a later date. This tablet has commonly been omitted until recent years, as it is in a different style and is out of sequence with the rest of the tablets ("Enkidu is still alive..."), and is considered a separate work.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is widely known today. The first modern translation of the epic was in the 1870s by George Smith. More recent translations include one undertaken with the assistance of the American novelist John Gardner, and published in 1984. Another edition is the two volume critical work by Andrew George whose translation also appeared in the Penguin Classics series in 2003. In 2004, Bolchazy-Carduccie Publishers Inc. of Wauconda, Illinois published a translation written by Danny Jackson. released a controversial edition, which is his interpretation of previous scholarly translations into what he calls the "New English version".
1. Gilgamesh of Uruk, the greatest king on earth, two-thirds god and one-third human, is the strongest super-human who ever existed. When his people complain that he is too harsh, and abuses his power by sleeping with women before their husbands do, the goddess of creation Aruru creates the wild-man Enkidu, a worthy rival as well as distraction. Enkidu is tamed by the seduction of priestess/prostitute (a hierodule) Shamhat.
2. Enkidu challenges Gilgamesh. After a mighty battle, Gilgamesh breaks off from the fight (this portion is missing from the Standard Babylonian version but is supplied from other versions). Gilgamesh proposes an adventure in the Cedar Forest to kill a demon.
3. Gilgamesh and Enkidu prepare to adventure to the Cedar Forest, with support from many including the sun-god Shamash.
4. Gilgamesh and Enkidu journey to the Cedar Forest.
5. Gilgamesh and Enkidu, with help from Shamash, kill Humbaba, the demon/ogre guardian of the trees. But before this is done Humbaba curses them both, saying that one will die for this; then he cuts down the trees, which they float as a raft back to Uruk.
6. Gilgamesh rejects the sexual advances of Anu's daughter, the goddess Ishtar. Ishtar asks her father to send the "Bull of Heaven" to avenge the rejected sexual advances. Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill the bull.
7. The gods decide that somebody has to be punished for killing the Bull of Heaven, and they condemn Enkidu. This also fulfulls Humbaba's curse. Enkidu becomes ill and describes the Netherworld as he is dying. Stephen Mitchell and others interpret the punishment as being for the killing of Humbaba.
8. Gilgamesh delivers a lamentation for Enkidu, offering gifts to the many gods in order that they might walk beside Enkidu in the netherworld.
9. Gilgamesh sets out to avoid Enkidu's fate and makes a perilous journey to visit Utnapishtim and his wife, the only humans to have survived the Great Flood who were granted immortality by the gods, in the hope that he too can attain immortality. Along the way, Gilgamesh encounters the alewyfe Siduri who attempts to dissuade him from his quest.
10. Gilgamesh punts across the Waters of Death with Urshanabi, the ferryman, completing the journey to the underworld.
11. Gilgamesh meets Utnapishtim, who tells him about the great flood and reluctantly gives him a chance for immortality. He tells Gilgamesh that if he can stay awake for six days and seven nights he will become immortal. However, Gilgamesh falls asleep and Utnapishtim tells his wife to bake a loaf of bread for every day he is asleep so that Gilgamesh cannot deny his failure. When Gilgamesh awakens, Utnapishtim tells him of a plant that will rejuvenate him. Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh that if he can obtain the plant from the bottom of the sea and eat it he will be rejuvenated, be a younger man again. Gilgamesh obtains the plant, but doesn't eat it immediately because he wants to share it with other elders of Uruk. He places the plant on the shore of a lake while he bathes, and it is stolen by a snake. Gilgamesh, having failed at both opportunities, returns to Uruk, where the sight of its massive walls prompts him to praise this enduring work of mortal men. Gilgamesh realizes that the way mortals can achieve immortality is through lasting works of civilization and culture. For the origin of the flood myth in tablet XI see Gilgamesh flood myth.