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on January 16, 2003
Norton Critical Editions are known for providing authoritative texts or notable translations of important texts, and their edition of The Epic of Gilgamesh is no exception. The translation is easy to read without being simplistic, and is heavily (and helpfully) notated.
Where this edition really shines, though, is in providing a context for the work, not only in providing a variety of other Gilgamesh poems and critical interpretations, but in the excellent introduction on how to read the work. The introduction answers questions readers may have about the historical basis for the character of Gilgamesh, the history of the text itself, and provides general information on its style (such as why it continually repeats itself).
This version also includes a number of additional Gilgamesh stories from several different cultures, many of which are close parallels to the epic itself. Perhaps the most interesting (and certainly the weirdest) of these is Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld, in which Gilgamesh loses his prized ball-and-stick game and Enkidu goes down to the Netherworld to get it.
If you're looking to get the most out of your Gilgamesh experience and understand the epic in a larger context, this edition is definitely for you.
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on May 1, 2002
This edition is perfect for teachers, serious students, and advanced courses. It is fantastic and for the person who wants the best scholarship, this is the place to go. But it is not for the person who simply wants to enjoy the tale or for introductory courses. I would suggest using this book as a resource along with one of the more readable prose versions.
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