Topic challenges are back ... but with a difference!
Early in July, Aza posted Monthly Topic Challenges aren't getting much attention. How can we change them? to address the problem of decreasing interest and activity in an increasingly stagnant topic challenge project. Emerging from the discussion there was Christophe Strobbe's popular proposal to have topic challenges lasting for two months, overlapping by one month, and announced one month in advance. So now, at the start of September, it's time to announce the October - November 2019 topic challenge.
What's a topic challenge?
See the meta posts linked above, and also this main meta post. In short, we should all try to read or learn about The Epic of Gilgamesh (maybe in September?) and post thoughtful and interesting questions about it in October - November.
Participation is not obligatory in any sense, but those who participate will be forever remembered in the annals of our history. And of course it goes without saying that questions on other works are always welcome too; they just won't count as part of this topic challenge.
How can I take part?
By getting hold of The Epic of Gilgamesh, in whatever language you prefer, and asking good questions about it. These questions should be tagged with epic-of-gilgamesh and sumerian-literature, and whatever other tags are applicable. We'll keep a list of all such questions in an answer to this meta post.
Why this particular story?
- This epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia is often called the oldest surviving piece of literature in the world, and written in one of the first written languages in the world.
- Of course, a 4000-year-old story is well out of copyright, and various translations into English and other languages can be found online. Wikipedia has a list, and some English translations include the modernised Muss-Arnolt translation of the Akkadian version and Jastrow and Clay's translation of the Old Babylonian version.
- Despite its importance in the history of literature, we've had very few questions about it so far. There could be questions about the plot of the story; its discovery in the 19th century; differences between versions of the text; its connections with other literature; and more!
- Vote here for the next topic challenge (Nov-Dec 2019), or propose your own!