By John Maier.
2018, SUNY Brockport eBooks digital commons. brockport.edu/sunybeb/4/), 978-0-99762-943-9. Free.
In 1984 an English translation of the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh by academic John Maier and novelist John Gardner restored the poetry that had been lost in many earlier renderings. Now Maier, an English professor at SUNY Brockport, has taken that work a step further in a lengthy digital commentary on this tale of man’s search for eternal life. When Gilgamesh rejects the love of Ishtar, the great goddess of Uruk, she sends the Bull of Heaven to deal with him. But when Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu kill the bull, Ishtar takes Enkidu’s life, leaving Gilgamesh to wander the world in search of immortality. After visiting Utnapishtim, the sole survivor of the Great Flood (the same flood found in the story of Noah), Gilgamesh realizes his life can be extended only through the good works he leaves behind him. Maier explores how various threads of the story, some dating back more than 4,000 years, coalesced about 2,000 years ago into the version we know today.