"He was made lush with head hair, like a woman/ The locks of his hair grew thick as a grain field/ He knew neither people nor inhabited land,/ He dressed as animals do/ he fed on grass with gazelles..."
(The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet 1)
Questions for discussion, choose any one as an entry:
- Reading these three tablets, one can see how Enkidu hum-animal qualities enlarges the discussion around his relationship to Gilgamesh. How does Enkidu's and Gilgamesh's origins bond them?
"Disguised as a woman, I forget what I want as a crane." (The Crane Wife)
2. Can you offer a line from any of the primary texts we read ("The Crane Wife", The Epic of Gilgamesh, Genesis, "Animal Bride", "Creation Myth", "Everything was Created") that speak to how human culture's interrelationship to animal presence, or how humans encounter animals, "both entail the physical and psychological manipulation of animals" ("Animals as Domesticates" 115)?
The Epic of Gilgamesh isn't unlike other epics in which the hero's confidant, foil, and foe are animalized or depicted as non-human. For example, in The Odyssey (800 BCE), Odysseus has to contend with Circe, Calypso, and the Cyclops while his faithful dog Argos awaits his return home in Ithaca. There are other epics like Beowulf (700 AD) and Mahabharata (400 BCE) where we see the zoomorphic and bestial qualities of humans. I am also pressed to think about Staples/Vaughn's Saga and the relationship between The Will and Lying Cat...but let's postpone that conversation until we get to Week 9: Work, Trauma, Planetarity.
Please comment in the conversation thread. Length of post is 150-200 words.