Gilgamesh A New Translation of the Ancient Epic Sophus Helle

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
25 Jan 2022
ISBN:
9780300251180
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
320 pages: 235 x 156mm
Sales territories:
World

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A poem for the ages, freshly and accessibly translated by an international rising star, bringing together scholarly precision and poetic grace

Gilgamesh is a Babylonian epic from three thousand years ago, which tells of King Gilgamesh’s deep love for the wild man Enkidu and his pursuit of immortality when Enkidu dies. It is a story about love between men, loss and grief, the confrontation with death, the destruction of nature, insomnia and restlessness, finding peace in one’s community, the voice of women, the folly of gods, heroes, and monsters, and more. Millennia after its composition, Gilgamesh continues to speak to us in myriad ways.
 
Translating directly from the Akkadian, Sophus Helle offers a literary translation that reproduces the original epic’s poetic effects, including its succinct clarity and enchanting cadence. An introduction and five accompanying essays unpack the history and main themes of the epic, guiding readers to a deeper appreciation of this ancient masterpiece.

Sophus Helle is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Freie Universität Berlin. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Aarhus University and has previously translated Gilgamesh into Danish with his father, the poet Morten Søndergaard.

“Engaging, well-paced, and extremely well written, this study of Gilgamesh will leave its readers delighted.”—Martin Worthington, Trinity College Dublin

“A dazzling work of scholarship that manages complex topics with elegance and thoughtfulness.”—Louise Pryke, University of Sydney