The Hero's Journey

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9780062501028: The Hero's Journey

The life and thoughts of the famous scholar, philosopher, writer and mythologist. Each chapter of this lyrical book follows the path of Campbell's lifelong investigation into the world of mythology, and details his painstaking synthesis of mythology with religion, psychology, and art.

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Review:

Joseph Campbell was arguably the greatest authority on mythology of this century; his The Hero With a Thousand Faces and Masks of God series have had an incalculable effect on readers from students of religion and anthropology to creative artists such as George Lucas, creator of StarWars. The Hero's Journey is the story of Campbell's life and life's work. From his childhood discovery of stories of Native Americans, it follows his burgeoning fascination with mythology. The format of the book is unusual, being largely transcripts from interviews with Campbell for the 1988 TV documentary film, The Hero's Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell, supplemented by extracts from question and answer sessions from his final series of lectures. Initially this might seem off-putting; oral interviews rarely work so well when put raw onto the page. But this book works beautifully, partly, no doubt, because of the care in selecting and editing the transcripts, but mainly because of the sense of excitement that Campbell still displayed in mythology right to the end of his long life (1904--1987). There's a bubbling delight, almost playfulness, which infuses almost every page. Perhaps this is because Campbell's study and scholarship was his own; having abandoned his PhD research, he was never forced into the academic mould "under the supervision of some professor who had his excitement, if he ever had it, a lifetime ago." Campbell was not only highly respected and an inspiration to all who read his works, he arguably became a living myth himself. This richly illustrated book, filled throughout with fascinating observations and deep insights, will become part of the canon of that mythology. --David V. Barrett

From the Back Cover:

Joseph Campbell, arguably the greatest mythologist of our time, was certainly one of our greatest storytellers. The Hero's Journey recounts his own quest and conveys the excitement of his life long exploration to our mythic traditions, which he called the "one great story of mankind."

This lyrical and masterfully crafted book interweaves conversations with Campbell and some of the people he inspired, including poet Robert Bly, anthropologist Angeles Arrien, filmaker David Kennard, Doors' drummer John Densmore, psychiatric pioneer Stanislav Grof, Nobel laureate Roger Guillemen, and others.

Photographs from Campbell's family archive enrich the book and provide a unique window into his world.

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