Richard Poirier* says in his blurb on the back of this book,The poetic splendor and sublimity of David Ferry's Gilgamesh is entirely of his own making, and his great poem is no more indebted to earlier versions of its story than is anything of Shakespeare's to North's Plutarch.And maybe that's the right spirit in which to approach this version. However, I found myself missing the grain of the original. For example, the resonant opening phrase of the epic in Andrew George's translation is He who [...]
Not the version I would have chosen for reading Gilgamesh in its entirety for the first time (generally preferring translations of the original rather than translations of translations) but not half bad either.
The original bromance, Ancient Sumer style, and it's still setting the standard.Like many people my age (or so I'd like to think) the first I ever heard of Gilgamesh was in the "Batman: The Animated Series" episode where Bane makes his debut. The secret prison science experiment that turned a ruthless, hardened, hyper-intelligent convict into a ruthless, hardened, hyper-intelligent supervillain by pumping untested chemicals straight into his brain was called "Project Gilgamesh"…I was intrigued [...]
I love David Ferry. His Horace translations are amazing. This is not a translation (Ferry doesn't know Akkadian or Cuneiform) but a reworking of several literal, scholarly translations into unrhyming iambic pentameter couplets.I read this because several people have recently told me that Gilgamesh rivals both the Hebrew Bible and Homer. Gilgamesh is great, but it's not comparable to Homer or the Bible. I don't think these people have really read any of the three; they just want to celebrate a "n [...]
I recommend Gilgamesh to anyone who enjoys ancient literature and epic poetry, or who simply wants to experience reading a very old text. Students of the bible and classical mythology will enjoy making comparisons with the the book of Genesis and Homer’s Odyssey. While I am not qualified to comment on the quality of Ferry’s translation, I found the poetry to be both meaningful and engaging. By the time I had finished reading, I was curious to learn more about ancient Mesopotamia and Gilgames [...]
The Epic of Gilgamesh is probably the earliest coherent piece of creative "literature" that we currently have, in that its primary purpose was not religious, historical or economic, but mostly to entertain and move people in the epic recounting of the deeds and quest for immortality of the great king of Uruk, Gilgamesh. Previous translations have focused on the historical and linguistic quest to reconstruct the text from various fragments across several languages and over the span of a millenniu [...]
A delightful readI cannot compare David Ferry's translation to any other. However, I thoroughly enjoyed reading his version. It was lyrical and compelling. It was also nice to read this from my Kindle app, so I could easily look up all the ancient locations and names of historical characters and gods.
Actual Review: 4 StarsIs it weird to say I actually enjoyed this? This book was required reading for my Foundations of Western Culture class in college, and I can honestly say that it is one of the most intriguing older works I have ever read.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is the first of its kind in Western literature, coming from the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia . The hero is a legendary King, but men and gods are the inhabitants of this epic. While the epic transcends the real world of historical time it still speaks to us today with its story of the heroic journey and the friendship of Gilgamesh for Enkidu.Enkidu is a wild man created by the gods as Gilgamesh's equal to distract him from oppressing the citizens of Uruk. But Enkidu [...]
The Epic of Gilgamesh, being an epic poem, is a chronicle with a beginning, middle, and end, except for the very last tablet (XII), which seems to have been tacked onto the end much later in time because not only is it its own story apart from all the rest, it contradicts the original story.The epic begins with the overarching idea that Sumerians are conflicted about kingship (Gilgamesh is strong as a king should be—“two-thirds a god, one-third a man”—…but oppressive: “Aruru is the m [...]
What’s older than olde schoole? It’s the Epic of Gilgamesh.Spoiler-tastic reviewI read the Epic of Gilgamesh. It contains the Sumerian retelling of the Flood myth, the bromance between Enkidu and Gilgamesh, monster hunting, a quest for immortality and some sex.I did not like this translation. I suspect that the Anglicization of the use ‘harlot’ is a little too culturally loaded a term for a temple priestess.Stay Sunny!For more reviews, go to my blog
The book has some interesting point, but the translation could use some work. For example, the temple prostitute is technically a priestess, but the mistranslation can give the reader a different perspective. Also the constant repetitive speeches get rather annoying after a while. After the second repetition there is no need for it to continue another four to five times. It's a decent story give the time period, but Gilgamesh changes from a strong and almost god-like king, to a whiny princess af [...]
This is a legend about alcoholism, sex, avarice and arrogance — the epic of Gilgamesh. He was the king of Uruk, he who has been variously describe as a horror, a bully, and also a hero. He loves beauties and fame. He meets his companion, Enkidu by a dream. He goes to the end of the world to figure out the secret of immortality. His name is Gilgamesh, ⅔ god, ⅓ mortal. Even goddess Ishtar falls in love with him. Well, the greatest hate springs from the greatest love Another great changeover [...]
We had to sift through a couple of different translations of this book to find the least pornographic one to use in our homeschool. This David Ferry translation was the safest, but there was still content near the beginning of the story that involved a temple prostitute, which parents will want to preview first before just handing it over to their kids. Aside from that one small part at the beginning (which really embarrassed my 13-year old son, even though it was toned down quite a bit compared [...]
Amro Halwah 3/24/13Advisory Ms. Hannah The Epic of Gilgamesh by David Ferry is the first epic I ever read. This is a Mesopotamian epic that reflects over the Mesopotamian culture and society. It starts out confusing in the 1st tablet but in the 2nd tablet everything becomes simpler and easier to understand. Gilgamesh the protagonist embarks on a journey seeking immortality after witnessing his companion’s fate. With his companion he has achieved the unachievable by the mortals and after his co [...]
This is an interesting tale for the modern reader. Gilgamesh is the demi-god king of Uruk, challenged by Enkidu, the hairy wild-man created to be the challenger and equal of Gilgamesh. They go on adventures, and are posed as threats to the gods themselves--in true pagan fashion. It is a quick read--I read it in a little more than an hour. It is in the mold of Beowulf and I dare say Tolkien was influenced by the style.One of the most interesting aspects of the story, of course, is Gilgamesh's enc [...]
Prior to Gilgamesh, I thought that I just wasn't one for epic poems. Apparently I'd just never read the right one. Though it has all of the language and heroicism I've always associated (and disliked) with epic poems, Gilgamesh's story seems more pure to me. He is not simply a more-than-a-man seeking glory for himself. Every problem he faces is an actual problem and by facing it he achieves glory. There is also the fact that his relationship with his brother, Enkidu, is completely pure. I believ [...]
It could just be that I have a headache, could be that I just got done with hours of math homework *send HELP* but I couldn't grasp this. I don't even remember why I wanted to read it, but it must've been pretty badly for me to reserve it. I think I heard of it in my Old Testamnet textbook but I remember it being a coincidence to me that this was ready at the library and I had just heard about Gilgamesh in my textbook so it couldn't have been thatm did you even get on my radar??
The original shaggy dog story, existential crisis and Budweiser commercial, the epic of Gilgamesh is rendered accessibly by David Ferry's English verse. I am especially fascinated by its telling of the Great Flood, which may refer to a sudden flooding of Mediterranean seawater over the Bosporus in the 7th millennium BCE that transformed a large freshwater lake into what we now know as the Black Sea.
There are several different versions (or more appropriately, different translations) of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and this being one of the shortest ones. I will read both the Gardner and Mitchell editions as well to ascertain this epic poem. However, Ferry's translation seems a good starting point as any for in its quick and pithy pages, ones gets a good hold of the story. Further study is required for those that wish fully grasp its depths.
The epic of Gilgamesh firmly deserves its place of honor in the canon of human literature. The plot is pretty solid, there is some fairly decent character development (especially with Enkidu, the poor wild man created and destroyed by the gods) and the paraells between the postalluvian mythos of Gilgamesh and the Bible is fairly interesting. It was a very good read.
This is a very readable and engaging translation. The story of Gilgameseh is also a fascinating foundational read for understanding much of what came later - and making one very thankful that the true God and Savior is nothing like those depicted herein.
I did not love this book but it was not one of my least favorites. The only thing about this book was it was a little inappropriate for my age. So I don't know why my Great conversations class had me read it. But otherwise it was a very entertaining book with plenty of fight scenes.
I've read this a few times for various literature classes. It's definitely an important historical work that anyone who's interested in literature should read. It's definitely not one of my favorites though.
I read this book on the recommendation of the New Lifetime Reading Plan. The story about the story is more interesting than the epic poem itself and I didn't gain anything from reading it that I hadn't already gained from the synopsis.