I have been harried and overwhelmed as of late…by what, I dunno. Lying in a slough of despond, crushed by the International Work Machine, trammeled by volunteer responsibilities…nobody to blame but myself. Beautiful respite with the new verse translation of Gilgamesh by Stephen Mitchell. What a knockout!
This story grabs you from the very first. Gilgamesh, the arrogant and powerful king of Uruk is oppressing his subjects, who cry to the gods for help. What do they do? They create a double of Gilgamesh, his doppleganger, who lives in the wild and eventually is discovered by Gilgamesh, with whom he forms a homo-erotic bond of deep friendship. This happens after the double is civilized from wildman status by a copulation of seven days duration with a priestess of a temple of Uruk. And who sent her out to use her “love arts” on the wildman? Gilgamesh…now there’s a friend!
Interesting take on sexuality and civilization. Sex as the civilizing agent. A bit more optimistic than Sigmund Freud’s view that civilization consists of the endless suppression of dangerous aggressive and sexual impulses. Take your pick.
I can’t wait to get to the flood, which predates the Noah story by 1000 years. Take that, you fundamentalists!