Reading Ancient Egyptian Poetry

Reading Ancient Egyptian Poetry : Among Other Histories

By (author) R. B. Parkinson

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In Reading Ancient Egyptian Poetry, Richard Parkinson explores how ancient Egyptian poems have been read and perceived across the ages. * Presents an innovative and theoretically-informed account of how the most famous ancient Egyptian poems have been read over 4,000 years * From a leading expert in the interpretation of ancient Egyptian literature * Explores the original experience of ordinary Egyptians enjoying the poems as well as their interpretation during the Middle Kingdom and up to modern times * Draws on recent discoveries in the British Museum archives to reconstruct the contexts of the poems

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  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 160 x 232 x 36mm | 762.03g
  • 03 Mar 2009
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester
  • English
  • Illustrations, maps
  • 1405125470
  • 9781405125475
  • 678,601

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Author Information

R. B. Parkinson is a curator in the Department of Ancient Egypt & Sudan, the British Museum, and regularly teaches in England and Germany. His publications include The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant (1991), the prize-winning Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems 1940-1640 bc (1997), and Poetry and Culture in Middle Kingdom Egypt (2002).

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Review quote

"A thoughtful and insightful volume on the Egyptian poems, specifically, and on ancient literature in general. ... All will agree that this 'love letter' is a valuable addition to the field." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, January 2010) "The author, one of the foremost scholars of ancient Egyptian literature, provides translations of many poems and stories but also helps to bring them to life by showing how they were part of the lives of everyday ancient Egyptians." (Ancient Egypt, September 2009)

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Back cover copy

R. B. Parkinson, renowned as one of the leading experts in the interpretation of ancient Egyptian literature, brings an innovative and theoretically-informed account of how three of the most famous ancient Egyptian poems have been read and perceived across the ages. By considering the evolving landscapes of the poems and developing modern perspectives, Parkinson breathes new life into the complex literary culture of the Middle Kingdom. Parkinson first imagines the experience of an Egyptian audience enjoying the poems as they were perhaps performed around 1840 bc. In the book's second section, he draws on recent discoveries to discuss the poems' early manuscripts and then traces their transmission as classic texts during later periods. Finally, Parkinson considers the poems' modern reception by academics and other audiences, including Hollywood. "Reading Ancient Egyptian Poetry" is a passionate homage to poetry's power to acquire and engage new readers and readings through 4,000 years.

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