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Inanna (Anglais) Broché – 3 août 1983

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

A fresh retelling of the ancient texts about Ishtar, the world's first goddess. Illustrated with visual artifacts of the period. "A great masterpiece of universal literature."--Mircea Eliade

Biographie de l'auteur

Diane Wolkstein has been teaching, performing, and writing for over thirty-five years. She is the author of numerous award-winning books of folklore, including The Magic Orange Tree, and Other Haitian Folktales and Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. Known for her meticulous research as well as her great range as a performer, Ms. Wolkstein traveled to Australia three times while preparing this story. She gives workshops on storytelling worldwide and lives in New York City.

In Her Own Words...

"I love stories. They give me strength, Inspiration, courage, and great delight. For thirty years I've told stories at the statue of Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park. I love watching the eyes of my audience light up as they enter stories. Stories let us explore the farthest places in the universe and the deepest recesses of the human heart. They present possibilities. They let us try out different emotions and characters. Stories are treasures which last forever.

"I also enjoy gardening, dancing, swimming, painting, and creating stories with music. My daughter, Rachel Zucker, is a poet, photographer, and the mother of a little boy named Moses."

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 256 pages
  • Editeur : Harper Perennial; Édition : First Edition First Printing, Notations (3 août 1983)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0060908548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060908546
  • Dimensions du produit: 15,2 x 1,6 x 22,9 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 142.850 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Dans ce livre

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Première phrase
In the first days, in the very first days, Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Format: Broché
This book is an essential tool if we want to understand the Sumerian religion and culture, but also if we want to assess what happened in Neolithic times, what tradition came up to an end in that period. These tales have been recuperated from original tablets dug out of the soil of old Sumerian towns. They are all datable between 3500 and 2500 BCE. The first interest is of course the fact that this is the first assessed and documented writing system in the world, which does not mean it necessarily was the first. An older writing system could have been only used on a material medium that was not durable and as such decayed with time or it was used by a civilization that had the mishap of being destroyed at some time in history leaving no traces behind. We must always remember that what we find from those distant civilizations is a very small portion of what was actually produced by that civilization.

The second remark on which we have to insist tremendously is that it took a tremendous amount of time for that civilization to invent that writing system. The origin is today considered to be around 8000 BCE (asserted point that was preceded too by a long gestation and that leads us to right after the Ice Age probably somewhere around 12000 BCE. As for the 8000 BCE origin we can accept the following hypothesis as being probable:

“Sumerian cuneiform is the earliest known writing system. Its origins can be traced back to about 8,000 BC and it developed from the pictographs and other symbols used to represent trade goods and livestock on clay tablets. Originally the Sumerians made small tokens out of clay to represent the items.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par luc le 19 septembre 2012
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
It is good to have this long poem in a book! The myth of Inanna's descent to the Underworld is quite well interpreted and translated.
I don't regret my purchase. Thankyou
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198 internautes sur 201 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Inspiring window on the great Sumerian goddess 8 mars 2002
Par Tom L. Waters - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The result of a collaboration between Sumerian scholar Noah Kramer and folklorist Diane Wolkstein, this book is a thoughtfully annotated translation of the major Sumerian cuneiform texts devoted to the goddess Inanna-among the oldest religious texts in the world. It is illustrated with black-and-white reproductions of ancient Sumerian art, mostly on clay tablets.
Our understanding of Sumerian culture continues to grow as new texts are found and our perceptions change. This book was published in 1983, and included material unknown to the general public at the time. There are four major stories of Inanna told here: "The Huluppu Tree," "Inanna and the God Of Wisdom,"
"The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi," and the extended epic "The Descent of Inanna." Seven hymns to the goddess round out the collection.
In "The Huluppu Tree," we meet the adolescent Inanna, expectantly awaiting the attainment of her queenship. The Huluppu tree, which she has planted and tended as a symbol of her hopeful authority, becomes infested with evil creatures, like personal demons, that will not depart and bring her to despair. She eventually appeals to Gilgamesh to vanquish the demons, and they exchange gifts made from the wood of the tree, bringing them both to greater power.
In "Inanna and the God of Wisdom," Inanna, now sexually mature but still youthful and unproven, is welcomed by Enki, God of Wisdom, who acts the role of proud grandfather, giving a feast in her honor. Enki's magnamity increases as he drinks, and he ends up offering Inanna all the magical keys to human civilization. Inanna, with enthusiastic politeness, accepts the gifts, and then makes a quick exit, getting a head start before Enki thinks better of his generosity and sends his monsters in pursuit of the errant goddess. Inanna, with the help of her trusted companion goddess, gets passed the monsters and arrives in Uruk with
her magical cargo, where she comes into her full power. Enki, apparently wise enough to let go of his greed in the face of fate, acknowledges Inanna's victory and ascendance.
In "The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi," Inanna, after some initial resistance, enters into an erotic courtship with Dumuzi the shepherd. This text is strangely alluring, moving with untroubled ease from sexual frankness to touching detail. (The scene where Dumuzi knocks on the door of Inanna's house for the first time feels like it could have come straight from a modern teenager's diary). After the marriage is consummated, Dumuzi curtly informs Inanna that he's going to be very busy being king now-don't wait up, hon. This poignantly rapid slide from courtship to neglect sets the scene for events in the next narrative.
In "The Descent of Inanna," the goddess, now Queen of Heaven and Earth, finds herself drawn to enter the underworld, realm of the dead, ruled by her evil and somehow tragic sister-self, Ereshkigal. One by one, she is stripped of all the symbols of her power at seven gates, to be left naked and alone before the Queen
of the Underworld, who kills Inanna with a single blow and hangs her on a hook to dry. Inanna has planned her own rescue in advance, though, and escapes to the surface, thronged by demons intent on finding someone to take her place. Inanna will not surrender to them her loyal sons, but when she returns to find her husband Dumuzi, not in mourning, but proudly sitting on his thrown and dispensing authority, she strikes him down and sends the demons after him. The tale of Dumuzi's flight is nightmarish and filled with dream imagery. Thanks to the efforts of his compassionate and self-sacrificing sister, and the softening of Inanna's own anger, a Persephone-like bargain is reached, and Dumuzi is allowed to return to the living for half of each year.
The hymns that round out this book are an exciting glimpse of the actual religious practice of the Sumerians. Especially interesting for modern Pagans is the annual ritual wedding between goddess and king.
I'm someone who tends to be rather skeptical about the ancient precedents of modern goddess worship, but these texts caught me off my guard. They are amazingly modern (or is it timeless?) in their content. The goddess actually grows psychologically and spiritually through the series of narratives, and the
portrayal of the sexual dynamic between men and women rings uncannily true across four millennia. Inanna's story is the original heroine's journey. And, unlike most of her male counterparts, she doesn't need to kill anything to attain her spiritual victory. (Well, almost. Dumuzi gets a serious lesson in raw goddess power!). Her character seems to flow from woman to goddess and back again so smoothly, that it is impossible not to feel a living religion in these texts, one in which there was an intimate dialog between the powers of the goddess and the human experience of her priestesses.
These original texts are better than any modern retelling of Inanna's story I have come across, not just because they are more "authentic", but because they are hauntingly moving. Unlike the familiar mythology of the Greeks and Romans, which has come down to us in a more or less "literary" style, these works seem
more spiritual, even liturgical. Repetition is combined with a directness of wording, and the result is often very powerful; there is a primal intensity about them. They disarm you with their open, almost child-like language, and then leave you sitting, mute and amazed, in that timeless central cavern of the human experience.
101 internautes sur 112 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Brings 4,000 Year Old Clay Tablets to Life 26 mars 2001
Par Elderbear - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Diane Wolkenstein revives ancient poetry that reminds us of a Goddess tradition, long lost to the Western world. In conjunction with Samuel Noah Kramer, a noted scholar on Sumer, she works with the subleties and ambiguities of the texts to reveal experiences long ago pressed into clay and forgotten.
This book is a collection of stories & hymns, translated from the cuneiform by Kramer. Wolkenstein, an expert in folktales, mythology, & storytelling, worked with his translations to craft an essence of the myths that reads coherently; confronting the reader with stories that are at once archaic and contemporary.
Numerous relief images from ancient Sumer enhance the "otherness" of the text. Rhythms and repetitive lineation loudly proclaim the exotic nature of this sacred poetry. And yet, at the heart of these stories, lie essential & archetypal material, which underlies the lives of each of us. I like this feature of the book best--I can read these ancient hymns and find a resonance within my modern soul. Wolkenstein and Kramer have well accomplished what they set out to do.
One notable feature of this poetry is the erotic content. Whether veiled in metaphor:
"At the king's lap stood the rising cedar."
or explicit:
"As for me, Inanna, / Who will plow my vulva? / Who will plow my high field? / Who will plow my wet ground?"
this erotic sacred literature of a vanished people stands in stark contrast to the purified verses of the canonical Judeo-Christian scriptures. Long before religion villified sexuality, we read--we experience in this poetry--that it was an honored sacrament, inseparable from spirituality.
The book concludes with chapters on Sumerian history, commentary on the material and translation, notes on the artwork, and a bibliography for further research. It contains an useful index.
This book is appropriate as a translated primary source for undergraduate work about the ancient Near East or mythology. It is a great source for those seeking to explore (and reclaim) the history of the Goddess, and for those who just can't get enough good Sumerian poetry! Five stars for an excellent balance of the literary with the scholarly, for breathing new life into a lost tradition.
(If you enjoyed this review, please leave positive feedback. My other reviews can be read by clicking on the "about me" link at the top of this review. Thanks!)
32 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Stunning 11 mars 2001
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
In the "White Goddess", Robert Graves speaks of true poetry as that which sends chills up your spine because it clearly has divine origins. While Graves' work does not meet that standard, "Innana" more than does so.
With the fist stanza, "In the first days, in the very first days, in the first weeks, in the very first weeks, in the first years, in the very first years", you enter a primal Dreamtime where the the Goddess exists as a real being made tangible by enchanting words. It takes a true poet to translate words from a dead language into a modern one and have them retain their effect. Wolkstein does this with grace and power.
The imagery of the tales and hymns themselves is lush, erotic, and real. I reccomend this book for anyone interested in finding a sacred text that opens up a living channel to the Goddess.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lady of the Morning and Evening Star 19 septembre 2000
Par Pagan Vixen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is a wonderful translation of the hymns to Inanna. I highly recommend it to those who are interested in ancient Sumer. However, I would like to add a cautionary note. These hymns were written in a much earlier time by a people not bound by our victorian prudery. They revelled in and honored the body beautiful. Much of the language is extremely frank.
The hymn regarding the courtship of Dummuzi and Inanna is indeed beautiful and touching. It is an intimate peek into a very different time and culture where woman was treated with reverence and respect.
This book would make a wonderful addition to any personal library, especially those interested in ancient civilizations.
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Inanna: Super Sumer Babe 14 novembre 2005
Par Eric G. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Inanna was first introduced to me through a video that was produced in the late eighties. At first glance I thought the main narrator in the film was overemphasizing a narrative that in all actuality didn't require such emotion and energy. However, when we explored the text in more detail and I had the opportunity to read the story aloud, I realized that in reality the story of Inanna is both powerful and emotionally moving as it delves into the life of both a destructive and creative goddess.

The story of Inanna is a culmination of four separate tales including: "The Huluppu Tree", "Inanna and the God of Wisdom", "The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi", and "The Descent of Inanna." Succinctly, the story follows Inanna as she attains womanhood, steals the "Me" in a drinking game with Enki, looses her virginity in a "milk" fiasco with Dumuzi, and redefines herself with a trip to the great below. Throughout the entire story Inanna's capacity for fertility and destruction is often emphasized and in the end this appears to be the main theme of the story.

Even though the premise of Inanna is one often found in many of the books we read to day, the Sumerian style of writing was slightly off the beaten path of modern day literature. The plot progresses ever so slowly with continual repetition more akin to a prayer book than a myth. Often ideas and comments are repeated three times so as to clearly emphasize integral points. This mechanical repetition makes the book very easy to understand and conceptualize even though the underlying symbolism and message is very profound and timeless. The structure of the writing is also unorthodox. Throughout the entire first half of the book the reader feels lost in a web of ideas that seem to be leading to no real climax or focal point. Then the reader gets to "The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi" and from there the book picks up. Ideas, especially those pertaining to sex, are often expressed in long metaphors that encourage the reader to conceptualize an idea more than just read and brush over a statement.

Although I personally found the writing style slow, I still enjoyed the book. When read with a mature mindset, Inanna is an opportunity for modern civilization to explore a society that embraced a goddess of immense power. A goddess who's life appears to be mortal, but who's power and capacity dictates life and decides death. Overall an interesting book that I'm sure will grow on me with time.
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