Myth and Meaning: Conversations on Mythology and Life (Hardcover)
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A wide-ranging collection of insights from legendary mythologist Joseph Campbell, sourced from rare and previously unpublished interviews What would you ask Joseph Campbell if you had the chance? Comparative mythology was an obscure academic subject until Joseph Campbell published The Hero with a Thousand Faces in 1949. With that groundbreaking study, Campbell moved mythology out of the halls of academia and into mainstream America. He conclusively demonstrated that all myths, regardless of culture, have a fundamental unity. Readers responded enthusiastically to his message, and subsequent generations of psychologists, artists, and writers have found inspiration in his work. In addition to writing prolifically, Campbell gave thousands of lectures and interviews throughout his life. Myth and Meaning compiles some of Campbell's most thoughtful responses to an array of interviewers, including audience members at various seminars, the historian Studs Terkel, and journalists from publications such as Time, Esquire, and Psychology Today. The informal question-and-answer format allows Campbell's charm, humor, and effortless command of the subject matter to shine through. Divided into chapters by theme, the dialogues in the book address a wide range of questions, including: - Where do myths come from?
- How did Campbell discover the timeless pattern of the Hero's Journey?
- Can our politically fractured, multicultural society find a set of common myths to live by?
- How did Campbell's life story influence his scholarship? Throughout, Campbell emphasizes the universal aspects of human experience and finds striking parallels between cultures separated by time and distance. Longtime fans of Campbell will gain a deeper appreciation of the man and his legacy, while new readers will receive a memorable introduction to a thinker who revolutionized our understanding of human nature.
About the Author
Joseph Campbell was an American author and teacher best known for his work in the field of comparative mythology. He was born in New York City in 1904, and from early childhood loved to read about American Indians and frequently visited the American Museum of Natural History, where he became captivated by the museum's collection of totem poles. From those days onward, Campbell's interest in mythology grew and deepened. He was educated at Columbia University, where he specialized in medieval literature, and, after earning a master's degree, continued his studies at universities in Paris and Munich. Throughout his life, he traveled extensively and wrote prolifically, authoring many books, including the classic The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the four-volume The Masks of God, Myths to Live By, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space, and the Historical Atlas of World Mythology. Campbell died in 1987. In 1988, a series of television interviews, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, introduced his views to millions of people. Stephen Gerringer is the Joseph Campbell Foundation community director and author of Myth and Modern Living: A Practical Campbell Compendium. JCF.org