© Kim Matthäi Leland

The Babylonian epic Gilgamesh holds a special place in the world literary sphere, as one of the oldest texts that continues to be widely read. Sophus Helle, who has recently published a new translation of the epic into English, will offer an introduction to this ancient text and its modern life, focusing on the question of how translators engage with the cruxes and crises peculiar to premodern works that survive only in manuscript form. Philologists are used to dealing with such challenges as fragmentary texts, manuscript variants, hapax legomena, and the like, but how are these crises best recreated in translation? 

Sophus Helle is a writer, translator, and cultural historian, specializing in premodern world literature in general and Babylonian epic poetry in particular. He has translated the epic Gilgamesh and the works of the Sumerian poet Enheduana – the first known author in literary history – into both Danish and English. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Freie Universität Berlin, holding an MA in Assyriology from the University of Copenhagen and a PhD in Comparative Literature from Aarhus University.

Thursday 10 March, 12.00-13.30 CET. The talk will take place online, a Zoom link will be made available after registration.

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