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This volume lays theoretical and methodological groundwork for the analysis of Mesopotamian literature. A comprehensive first chapter by the editors explores critical contemporary issues in Sumerian and Akkadian narrative analysis, and nine case studies written by an international array of scholars test the responsiveness of Sumerian and Akkadian narratives to diverse approaches drawn from literary studies and theories of fiction. Included are intertextual and transtextual analyses, studies of narrative structure and focalization, and treatments of character and characterization. Works considered include the Standard Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic and many other Sumerian and Akkadian narratives of gods, heroes, kings, and monsters.