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DJ dAndroid
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Neil Gaiman on how stories last
« on: 2015-06-21 13:06:18 »
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Nearly half a century after French molecular biologist Jacques Monod proposed what he called the “abstract kingdom” — a conceptual parallel to the biosphere, populated by ideas that propagate like organisms do in the natural world — and after Richard Dawkins built upon this concept to coin the word “meme,” Gaiman suggests stories are a life-form obeying the same rules of genesis, reproduction, and propagation that organic matter does. Considering the scientific definition of life as a process that “includes the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death,” Gaiman argues that stories are alive — that they can, and do, outlive even the world’s oldest living trees by millennia:

http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/06/16/neil-gaiman-how-stories-last/
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Re:Neil Gaiman on how stories last
« Reply #1 on: 2015-06-22 18:53:44 »
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DJ dAndroid thank you for a great post !
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Re:Neil Gaiman on how stories last
« Reply #2 on: 2015-06-22 18:56:40 »
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A great example of a story that has been retold and retold is very much alive to this day.

The Epic Of Gilgamesh

http://www.aina.org/books/eog/eog.pdf
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Re:Neil Gaiman on how stories last
« Reply #3 on: 2015-07-13 05:15:22 »
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Hello Fritz.
I grew curious where in the timeline of ancient literature The Epic of Gilgamesh actually fits. And looking at Wikipedia there are several texts that precede it by some 350 years. Neat!
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Re:Neil Gaiman on how stories last
« Reply #4 on: 2015-07-15 20:32:29 »
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Quote from: DJ dAndroid on 2015-07-13 05:15:22   

Hello Fritz.
I grew curious where in the timeline of ancient literature The Epic of Gilgamesh actually fits. And looking at Wikipedia there are several texts that precede it by some 350 years. Neat!

Interesting that it goes back another several years. It is amazing how humans retell the same stories as if it was for the first time. I wonder what in 2000 years will be our stories that remain.

In a related 'non sequitur', TVO has the History of Scotland from about 1100 on. It makes Game of Thrones seem like a church picnic, with the real life intrigue back stabbing and killing. I'm really enjoying the BBC production. Humans really know how make a hash of getting along :-)

Streamed on line:
http://tvo.org/program/179961/a-history-of-scotland
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Re:Neil Gaiman on how stories last
« Reply #5 on: 2015-10-08 23:24:09 »
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Speaking of The Epic...

Iraqi Museum Discovers Missing Lines From the Epic of Gilgamesh
October 7th, 2015
a whole new chapter

It's not unusual for fantasy epics to endure for years. (Right, Game of Thrones fans?) But even George R.R. Martin would be shocked to learn about the century-and-a-half wait for a new chapter of the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the world's oldest written stories. The Sulaymaniyah Museum in Iraq has discovered 20 new lines to the ancient Babylonian poem, writes Ted Mills for Open Culture.

The Epic of Gilgamesh, which dates back to 18th century B.C., was pieced together from fragments that tell the story of a Sumerian king who travels with a wild companion named Enkidu. As Mills explains, scholars were well aware that new fragments of the poem could possibly turn up — modern readers are most familiar with a version discovered in Nineveh in 1853 — and during the war in Iraq, as looters pillaged ancient sites, they finally did. The Sulaymaniah Museum acquired the tablet in 2011, as part of a collection purchased from a smuggler, according to Osama S.M. Amin at Ancient History Et Cetera:

... *Go to link for more* ...

The collection was composed of 80-90 tablets of different shapes, contents and sizes. All of the tablets were, to some degree, still covered with mud. Some were completely intact, while others were fragmented. The precise location of their excavation is unknown, but it is likely that they were illegally unearthed from, what is known today as, the southern part of the Babel (Babylon) or Governorate, Iraq (Mesopotamia).

The tablet is three fragments joined together, dating back nearly 3,000 years to the Neo-Babylonian period. An analysis by the University of London's Farouk Al-Rawi’s reveals more details from the poem's fifth chapter, according to Amin. The new lines include descriptions of a journey into the "Cedar Forest," where Gilgamesh and Enkidu encounter monkeys, birds and insects, then kill a forest demigod named Humbaba. In a paper for the American Schools of Oriental Research, Al-Rawi describes the significance of these details:

... *Go to link for more* ...

The museum's discovery casts new light on Humbaba, in particular, who had been depicted as a "barbarian ogre" in other tablets. As Mills writes, "Just like a good director’s cut, these extra scenes clear up some muddy character motivation, and add an environmental moral to the tale."
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Re:Neil Gaiman on how stories last
« Reply #6 on: 2015-10-12 18:58:10 »
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Thx DJ dAndroid. That is amazing to see more of that story come to light.
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