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Changing the world
one mind at a time
Here we go again. 
3rd-Jun-2010 07:21 pm
alan rickman
Found some of the info I was looking for, enough to figure out I was looking up the wrong tree.

Also now found Nabu, which is a heck of a lot closer to what I was looking for, even if he A) is Babylonian and B) has a name Lucas stole to make a planet filled with obnoxious fish people with picaninny accents and emo princesses elected by democratic process.

In the mean time, I'm having a field day with the big book of Mesopotamian Myths I found at the library. Of particular interest to me is some of the commentary the translator inserts before the translations about the differences in recovered tablets from different locations that show how the stories were changed between locations to suit different agendas and listener tastes.

Also of interest to me as a storyteller is the places where phrases are repeated over and over as kind of a mnemonic device to help with the telling.

I'm also fascinated with the parallels between the Mesopotamian myths and later Greco-Roman myths. Of course, the translator also points out how many of these myths also wound up in Arabian Nights, which I haven't read either. It should really surprise me though, since none of these culture really existed in a vacuum. Hell, most of the Egyptian myths were colored by Greeks retelling them, and it's amazing how many of the Sumerian myths are now part of Genesis. I kind of want to find Sinbad now, since some of his voyages evidently share the same elements of Odysseus.

Of course, I just started into Gilgamesh. Which I had never read before. I'm sort of familiar with the tale, but never read it. My word, but it's filthy. In just the first section, we find out Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, was quite the man, screwing anything that moved. Then we get into the creation of Enkidu, and his taming by a harlot, Shamhat, whom Gilgamesh drags out for the purpose.

"Here he is, Shamhat, bare your bosom,
Open your legs and let him take in your
attractions!
Do not pull away, take wind of him!
He will see you and come close to you,
Spread open your garments, and let him lie upon
you,
do for him, the primitive man, as women do...
His love-making he will lavish upon you!"

Which she does, repeating the entire direction all over again, and they go at it for 6 nights and 7 days.

Then later on, Gilgamesh has a dream, which is interpreted to mean he must love Enkidu as he would a wife. Mind you, a few passages later, Gilgamesh's mother adopts Enkidu, thereby meaning Enkidu is now kind of brother and lover to Gilgamesh. (Of course, Gilgamesh's mother is a wild cow and goddess...)

All in all, it's quite interesting, even if the text is driving me nuts. There are notations in the text about places where the tablet was broken, lines were too eroded to read, etc. Which means seeing lots of brackets and blank spots that break up the narrative.

So yeah. Inanna and her descent are up next, which I'm looking forward to.
Comments 
7th-Jun-2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
A lot of the different mythos seem to have a commonality with one another.

You've really bitten off a huge chunk to wrestle with hon!
8th-Jun-2010 12:08 am (UTC)
It's not that bad, actually. This is the kind of research I enjoy. Plus figuring out where and when these cultures met and then figuring out if that's when the commonalities came through is a whole different exercise in fun:)
5th-Aug-2010 04:11 am (UTC)
Ah the good old days...
5th-Aug-2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
I like the good ol' days until I remember the lack of indoor plumbing;)
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