Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the navel of all the waters

This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That || The city of Troy fell over three thousand years ago, at the end of the second millenium before our era. (T.R. Walsh & R. Merrill, "The Tradition, the Singer, the Performance) in The Odyssey, University of Michigan, 2002, p.1) || But Ishtar rose up and mounted the great wall of Uruk; she sprang on to the tower and uttered a curse: 'Woe to Gilgamesh, for he has scorned me in killing the Bull of Heaven.' When Enkidu heard these words he tore out the Bull's right thigh and tossed it in her face saying, 'If I could lay my hands on you, it is this I should do to you, and lash the entrails to your side.' Then Ishtar called together her people, the dancing and singing girls, the prostitutes of the temple, the courtesans. Over the thigh of the Bull of Heaven she set up lamentations. | [...] | So Enkidu lay stretched out before Gilgamesh; his tears ran down in streams and he said to Gilgamesh, 'O my brother, so dear as you are to me, brother, yet they will take me from you.' Again he said, 'I must sit down on the threshold of the dead and never again will I see my dear brother with my eyes.' (The epic of Gilgamesh, Penguin, 1960, p.88-89) || After the fall of the Mycenaean palace cultures and the destruction of Troy, from the end of the twelfth century to the beginning of the eighth, Greek civilization crosses the period that historians call the Dark Ages because of what appears to be a general decline in cultural vitality. Instead of featuring the large palaces of Agamemnon's Mycenae and Nestor's Pylos, where scribes kept records of palace accounts [...] life in the Dark Ages was lived in small communities for whom writing seems not to have existed and grand social systems were only a memory. (Walsh & Merrill, 11-12) || Wretch! Faraway from his friends, he has long been suffering sorrows, off on a tide-washed island the broad sea has its navel. (The Odyssey, ibid., 86 (49-50) || ...unhappy man, who still, far from his friends, is suffering griefs, on the sea-washed island, the navel of all the waters... (The Odyssey, Perennial Classics, 1967, p.28 (49-50)