Teaser Tuesday: Gilgamesh

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, a weekly Meme hosted by the Purple booker that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

Last week I added a translation of Gilgamesh (translated by Stephen Mitchell) to my kindle that came highly recommended. I have just started to read this classic. Who knew that I could be moved to tears by a poetic description of a city long gone.


And now, after this summary, something fascinating happens. Sîn-lēqi-unninni turns to his readers and invites them to survey the great city for themselves:

See how its ramparts gleam like copper in the sun. Climb the stone staircase, more ancient than the mind can imagine, approach the Eanna Temple, sacred to Ishtar, a temple that no king has equaled in size or beauty, walk on the wall of Uruk, follow its course around the city, inspect its mighty foundations, examine its brickwork, how masterfully it is built, observe the land it encloses: the palm trees, the gardens, the orchards, the glorious palaces and temples, the shops and marketplaces, the houses, the public squares.

It is a very strange and touching moment. The poet is ostensibly addressing an audience of ancient Babylonians in 1200 BCE, directing them to admire a city that was built in time immemorial. But the readers, as it turns out, are you and I. We are the ones who are being invited, more than three thousand years later, to walk on the wall of Uruk and observe the splendor and bustling life of the great city.

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