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Awakening Osiris: The Egyptian Book of the Dead

Awakening Osiris: The Egyptian Book of the Dead

Paperback Language: Egyptian / English

By (author) Normandi Ellis

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  • Publisher: Phanes Press,U.S.
  • Format: Paperback | 232 pages
  • Language: Egyptian / English
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 211mm x 10mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 1 December 1997
  • Publication City/Country: Grand Rapids, MI
  • ISBN 10: 0933999747
  • ISBN 13: 9780933999749
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 195,301

Product description

THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD is one of the oldest and greatest classics of Western spirituality. Until now, the available translations have treated these writings as historical curiosities with little relevance to our contemporary situation. This new version, made from the hieroglyphs, approaches the Book of the Dead as a profound spiritual text capable of speaking to us today. These writings suggest that the divine realm and the human realm are not altogether separate; they remind us that the natural world, and the substance of our lives, is fashioned from the stuff of the gods. Devoted like an Egyptian scribe to the principle of "effective utterance," Normandi Ellis has produced a prose translation that reads like pure, diaphanous verse.

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Review quote

"Anyone reading this work cannot help but be moved by it. It comes as close to an appreciation of the themes of the soul's journey portrayed in the Egyptian Book of the Dead as any modern interpretation has, and with a poetry unmatched anywhere in the literature thus far".-- KMT: A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt

Editorial reviews

The Egyptian Book Of The Dead, so called because it was written on papyrus scrolls that the ancient Egyptians placed inside coffins, is a manual to guide the afterlife journey of the soul. It does the same thing as the Pyramid Texts. And like the Hermetica it places the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of each individual, to ensure that the opportunity of life is used as far as possible to improve and perfect the spirit. This edition, a translation by the poet Normandi Ellis, is more of a 'free interpretation' suitable for modern readers than a direct or literal translation. Yet I think it gets closer to the essence of the Book of the Dead than any of the more scholarly efforts. The language that Ellis uses is powerful, eerie and evocative - as, I am sure, was the original ancient Egyptian language to the ears of its listeners: 'I stand before the masters who know the histories of the dead, who decide which tales to hear again, who judge the books of lives as either full or empty, who are themselves authors of truth. And they are Isis and Osiris, the divine intelligences. And when the story is written and the end is good and the soul of a man is perfected, with a shout they lift him into heaven'. (Kirkus UK)

Back cover copy

THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD is one of the oldest and greatest classics of Western spirituality. Until now, the available translations have treated these writings as historical curiosities with little relevance to our contemporary situation. This new version, made from the hieroglyphs, approaches the Book of the Dead as a profound spiritual text capable of speaking to us today. These writings suggest that the divine realm and the human realm are not altogether separate; they remind us that the natural world, and the substance of our lives, is fashioned from the stuff of the gods. Devoted like an Egyptian scribe to the principle of "effective utterance", Normandi Ellis has produced a prose translation that reads like pure, diaphanous verse.