Style and Form in Old-Babylonian Literary Texts
Basing himself on a careful study of all hitherto published (and some unpublished) Old-Babylonian literary texts - roughly 270 different compositions of all literary genres - Dr. Wasserman systematically leads the reader to a number of insightful conclusions regarding distinctive style and outstanding features of the Old-Babylonian literary system (as opposed to everyday texts, such as letters). The three opening chapters - Hendiadys, Tamyīz, and Damqam-īnim - are mainly concerned with syntax, but also connections with inalienability, a semantic issue. Chapter four and five, Merismus and Simile, focus on semantics (though also including word order). The last chapter, Rhyming Couplets, is fully devoted to form, with elaborations on such semantic problems as performative speech acts. The concluding pages delineate the contours of the Old-Babylonian literary system; genres and 'genre-families', the dichotomy between oral and written traditions, and the distinction between learned and popular literature. With a detailed catalogue of all known literary Old-Babylonian compositions.
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