Ex Libris 2009: The God Tammuz


Exlibris Tammuz, dio sumero

 

“The Enchanted Wood is like a plant that flourishes wherever there is good soil”, and it grows on many different lands scattered throughout the world. Works have been received from wherever news of the Prize has arrived and spread: Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Armenia, Russia, Lithuania, Estonia, Greece, Japan, Germany and many others. 
 
A demonstration, if it were needed, of how many look forward to each new edition, and of how strong a bond of trust has been created in the high standards of the competition. This time, participants have not even been discouraged by what could be termed a somewhat difficult theme: “the god Tammuz”.
 
The question that naturally springs to mind at this point is: who was “the god Tammuz”?
 
The answer is not so simple, however. Indeed, there may be more than one!
 
Obviously he was a minor deity, but a certain amount of confusion is created as soon as an attempt is made to date the period: Babylonian, or maybe better still Sumerian. If, as it seems, Tammuz (Dammuz) was Sumerian, he would be more than five thousand years old and would have been born on the day of the Winter Solstice, the 21st of December. An initial analogy is therefore evident; while the “Summer Solstice” Association (who organize “the Enchanted Wood” competition) celebrates its birth on the longest day of the year, Tammuz would have been born on the shortest day (which is not, as is incorrectly believed, St. Lucy’s day).
 
You cannot speak about Tammuz, however, without referring to his lover Ishtar (the goddess of youth). Her love for him was so strong that, when Tammuz was slain by a wild boar, the beautiful Ishtar descended into the underworld to reclaim her consort. 
 
Could there be greater love?
 
Tammuz and Ishtar do not only represent mutual love however, They are also a sign of the changing seasons, and of the winter that longs for spring, just as night pursues day and vice-versa.
 

 

Tommaso Lo Russo


Contest Winners

1st Prize:

Josef Werner

2st Prize:

Luigi Casalino

3st Prize:

Pavel Hlavaty

4°Prize:

Grigoryan Hayk

Short Stories Winners

1st Prize:

Annarita Morini

"LA RIBELLIONE DI TAMMUZ"

2st Prize:

Graziella Naurath

"TAMUZIO IL BIMBO DELLA PACE"

3st Prize:

Donatella Taverna

"I FIORI DI TAMMUZ"

4st Prize ex aequo:

Franca Trevisi

"IL SACRIFICIO DI TAMMUZ"

5st Prize ex aequo:

Flavia Lamonato

"QUANDO LA MORTE È VITA"

6st Prize ex aequo:

Nicu Bianca

"IL GIORNO PIÙ BELLO"

Special Jury Prize

Antonio Papalia

"TAMMUZ"

Special Jury Prize

Anna Maria Magnone

 

 

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