951_spring_1 - should reflect your grasp of the poem in all...

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Mosaic I First Assignment: YOUneiform Tablet Length : two-three pages (Times New Roman font, 12 point, double-spaced). Grade : 15% of your course grade Due : Wednesday, September 22 via email ([email protected]). Papers will be marked down by one grade increment (e.g. B to B-) for every day late. Recent excavations in Iraq have uncovered a cache of twenty cuneiform tablets inscribed with hitherto unknown episodes from the Epic of Gilgamesh . Each of you is responsible for translating a tablet into English and fitting it into the literary jigsaw puzzle that is the Epic . Your piece, as we might expect, will extend or deepen the poem, enriching our understanding of its broader themes or conflicts. So, insert another adventure or encounter or dream. Or continue an existing tablet that seems to you incomplete, prematurely broken off. Whatever you like! Be imaginative, be clever, but be critical. This is a thought experiment. The extant text—the standard version you’ve been reading—will be the test of your success. Your interpolated tablet
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Unformatted text preview: should reflect your grasp of the poem, in all its complexity (characterizations, symbolism, motifs, messages, etc.). Avoid caricature. Your tablet should “fit” into the artistic structure and logic of the text we already have. It may indeed raise new questions, but these should arise from the existing poem, which, as we’ve seen, is open to interpretation. Think of it as an addition to a house—a half bath or a deck or a wood-burning stove. It’s new, but it should continue or enhance the form and function of the whole. You may choose to emulate Gilgamesh ’s style, or you may choose not to. Feel free to play with the fragmentary nature of this epic; you might include frustrating but thought-provoking lacunae (the suspension points that denote gaps—cracks—on the tablet) or bracketed passages that represent best guesses about a missing word or line, based on the evidence of other tablets or versions. I encourage you to run your ideas by me for feedback....
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