|You can't demonstrate the human condition without realism.|
And there's nothing realistic about that thing in the middle of the tablet.
No need to worry that we're not studying enough white voices. Just a necessary evil.
The Epic of Gilgamesh: I'm not even sure where to begin with this one.
I'm genuinely overwhelmed. The sheer level of preposterous absurdity going on in this story has literally overwhelmed me. Gods. Demigods. Ogres. Giant bulls. Scorpion people. Precognitive psychic dream powers. A fight scene pretty much once a tablet. Huge, Earth-covering floods (which, as you know, are only achieve credulity in Judeo/Christian tradition, and become completely implausible otherwise). Immortality. In many ways it is no surprise that we had to endure an epic like Beowulf as the fountainhead of English tradition. Look at where the older tradition lies. Look at what they had to work with. This non-stop melange of genre imagery is chock full of speculative tropes and is real literature's and high art's worst nightmare.
Clearly there is nothing of literary value within The Epic of Gilgamesh. It is just another superhero versus a monster-of-the-week mash up with no redeeming qualities or meaningful themes. I haven't seen anything this god awful since my 14 year old cousin from America forced me to watch a disk of some Yank show called Supernatural. If Enkidu had been questioning his sexuality and killed by homophobic bigots, Gilgamesh had been struggling against the preconceptions of his society and raging alcoholism, and the whole thing had been set in the seedy mud brick reality of Babylon, this might have been a better story. As it is, I had to gird myself against actual physical revulsion with each new tablet. The Mesopotamian people certainly had enough real-world struggles trying to establish the patriarchy and civilize an entire world of hunter/gatherers to need to resort to fanciful tales of the supernatural. Is it any wonder the whole of Western society is not capable of determining what is actually good to read?
Thank you for joining us this evening, and please tune in next week for another edition of Speculative Fiction Sucks Balls (And Not in the Good Way) where we'll return to the British Isles and take a look at what some seriously white dead white guys have written. Good night.