The Tablet of Destinies

The Tablet of Destinies

Roberto Calasso, a literary institution of one (The Paris Review), tells the story of the eternal life of Utnapishtim, the savior of man, in the eleventh part of his great literary project.

In that far-off time the gods had grown tired of humans, who were making too much noise, disturbing their sleep, and they decided to send a Flood to wipe them out. But one of them, Ea, a god of fresh underground water, didn't agree and advised one of his favorites, Utnapishtim, to build a quadrangular boat to house humans and animals. So Utnapishtim saved living creatures from the Flood.

The lord of the gods, Enlil, rather than punishing Utnapishtim for his disobedience, granted him endless life on the island of Dilmun. The name Utnapishtim means "he has found life."

Around three thousand years later, Sindbad the Sailor is shipwrecked and arrives on the island of Dilmun. Utnapishtim welcomes him into his tent and the two begin to talk. What Utnapishtim tells him is the subject matter of this book, the eleventh part of Roberto Calasso's work in progress that began in 1983 with The Ruin of Kasch. Unlike the previous ten installments, The Tablet of the Destinies features no sources or references at all, but is a narrative, from beginning to end.

Publication Date: 
July 26, 2022