A special October meeting in Hyattsville will focus on the Epic of Gilgamesh (http://www.amazon.com/The-Epic-Gilgamesh-English-Introduction/dp/014044100X). We will be discussing the version translated by N.K. Sandars, published by Penguin Books, so be sure to buy the Sandar's version (http://www.amazon.com/The-Epic-Gilgamesh-English-Introduction/dp/014044100X). (It appears someone has posted it on the Internet in pdf form for free here (http://www.rosemike.net/quotes/misc/epic_gil.pdf).) Sandar's really puts the various pieces together, making a coherent, seamless narrative. Other translations try to be more true to the individual tablets; so they are harder to read.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is amongst the earliest surviving works of literature. The story centers on a friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu, a wild man created by the gods as Gilgamesh's equal to distract him from oppressing the people of Uruk. Together, the two friends journey to the Cedar Mountain to defeat Humbaba, its monstrous guardian. Later they kill the Bull of Heaven, which the goddess Ishtar sends to punish Gilgamesh for spurning her advances. The gods sentence Enkidu to death, and Gilgamesh must undertake a long and perilous journey to find the immortal flood hero, Utnapishtim.
This book has plenty to talk about, as we will discuss man vs. animal, friendship, and the desire for immortality.