19 March 2013

The Epic of Gilgamesh

I was recently watching some old Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes and watched a highly acclaimed (though not particularly liked by me) episode called "Darmok". In this episode, Darmok (the alien) is trying to teach Picard how to converse. Darmok's people use stories to communicate everything which makes it very difficult for Picard to understand because the stories mean nothing to him. To overcome this, they tell each other cultural stories:

I used to hate this episode... then Picard mentioned Gilgamesh. Then I read several versions of The Epic of Gilgamesh. Then I decided that this episode was alright.

1 comment:

  1. I took a course for my Spanish minor at BYU called "The Hero In Spanish Literature." The professor was challenged with teaching such abstract concepts as Lacanian psychology, the Hero Myth, courtly love, Freudian psychology, etc. to students from a smattering of majors that ranged from business to engineering to American Studies (me). How to get us to understand what he wanted us to know and do it in just one semester? He told stories.

    And he did it often through pop culture, showing us that great principles could be accessed through familiar means. "Shallow Hal" was a great example of courtly love; the Id and the Ego could be seen in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde;" and the greatest of all tales, the Hero Myth, could be found in "The Matrix and "Star Wars." (See "The Hero With A Thousand Faces" for an excellent treastise on this by George Campbell.)

    Lest we pass over them too lightly, we also studied the greatest of all hero accounts, the Bible and Book of Mormon. I think it is those two staples of history/cultural documents more than anything else that helped us grasp the concepts we were being taught.

    I've never read "Gilgamesh" - I ought to rememdy that!