Book Review: Gilgamesh

I just finished Stephan Grundy’s retelling of the 4000 year old epic, Gilgamesh. It’s been unnerving to come to terms with the fact revealed in the book that, unlike technological advances, human nature really hasn’t changed since the beginning of civilization. I highly recommend the tome and its fascinating depiction of ancient culture and humanity. And, as a urban bound wilderness enthusiast, I found this entry particularly haunting and wanted to share it here:

“Enkidu sat alone under the far hard gleams of the stars, with a flap of the wool cloak raised over his head, watching hard through the cold moonlight for the slinking gray shadows and listening for the bleats of a sheep trapped by wolves, or the bubbling death-breaths of prey with its throat crushed by a lion’s jaws. Though now and again his head nodded into a lion’s nap, he was always able to jerk himself awake again, remembering that he was a man. Then the tears came to his eyes, cold in the moonlight—and he did not know whether he wept for pacing the hills, or whether it was the warm huts of the village, where each curled against their most beloved, that stung his lids with salt. Yet the night air tasted clean in his lungs with no dusting of burning dung; and yet it was good to hold the smooth wood of spear and bow-shaft, knowing that with it he bore the weight of human trust, warm as the cloak that wrapped his shoulders.”

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