Talk by Nicla De Zorzi
Talk: “Devices for conveying meaning: Examples from the Literary Tool-Kit of Ancient Mesopotamian erudition”
Workshop: The construction of meaning in Ancient Mesopotamian literature and scholarship
Studies on formal characteristics of Akkadian scholarly and literary texts not tied to the edition of a particular text are rare. The project REPAC (“Repetition, parallelism and creativity: an inquiry into the construction of meaning in Ancient Mesopotamian literature and erudition”) aims at changing this. REPAC argues for a greater emphasis on literary forms and on the interplay of form and function in the study of Ancient Mesopotamian erudition. The project focuses on repetition and parallelism as the most important structuring and meaning-making devices in Akkadian literature and scholarly writing. In the present paper, we will offer some insights into the role of literary forms in the construction of meaning in Akkadian literature and scholarly writing based on the preliminary results of REPAC’s research. We will discuss through a series of examples the creative application of a principle of ‘repetition with variation’ as a means of constructing and structuring literary and scholarly compositions. By drawing on a range of scholarly and literary texts and on a methodology that can be described as a ‘constituent analysis,’ we will demonstrate how the interplay of similarity and contrast of (near-)contiguous textual elements is a major vector for stylistic as well as epistemological creativity and for rhetorical effectiveness in Akkadian.
Rencontre Assyriologique International (online from July 12th to July 16th; talks accessible from the 10th of June until the 10th of September for registered participants)
More information: https://bit.ly/3bdJd8j