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Adapa is Breaking my Wings!

June 15, 2008

Amidst a flurry of writing I need to get done by month’s end, I’m pulling together materials for a class I’m teaching next month. The first week of the six-week summer session will be on small ancient Near East myths. After my earlier discussion of Adapa and the Hymn to Demeter, I’ve decided to throw both of these myths into the mix, as well as Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld. Each myth is from a different culture, but each will mutually inform the discussion of the other two (and, the Mesopotamian texts will hopefully whet students’ appetites for Gilgamesh the following week).

Yet, all is not well in Eridu! In looking at all the available translations of the myth I like Shlomo Izre’el’s translation in Adapa and the South Wind: Language Has the Power of Life and Death (Eisenbrauns, 2001). However, his presentation of the text is not very user friendly (and, of course, I’ve got some problems with even his excellent translation). So, I find myself preparing a new translation of the text in a format that I’ve found works best with my students — in all my spare time.

And people wonder why I don’t have more hobbies…

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