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Gilgamesh among UsModern Encounters with the Ancient Epic$
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Theodore Ziolkowski

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450358

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450358.001.0001

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The Contemporization of Gilgamesh (1979–1999)

The Contemporization of Gilgamesh (1979–1999)

4 The Contemporization of Gilgamesh (1979–1999)
Gilgamesh among Us

Theodore Ziolkowski

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the contemporization of the Gilgamesh epic from 1979 to 1999. It examines representative examples of several approaches that seized on Gilgamesh to illustrate their views ranging from the most abstractly theoretical through the historical and sociopolitical to the intensely personal, and the varied techniques used to achieve their ends. The period of contemporization began with the efforts of such theories as Orientalism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and ecology to expose sometimes far-fetched new aspects of the ancient epic of Gilgamesh. This period ended with a monument of brilliant Assyriological scholarship—a translation now widely regarded as definitive: The Epic of Gilgamesh (1999) by the British Assyriologist Andrew George, which also includes translations of the other Babylonian and Sumerian texts.

Keywords:   contemporization, Orientalism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, ecology, Epic of Gilgamesh, epic poem, epic poetry, Andrew George

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