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Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind Paperback – April 1, 2002
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"A marvelous account of the life of a man who fell in love with stories and became our greatest teller of timeless myths. A feast for the mind, the imagination, and the heart." (Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly)
"Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind ignites the soul of the reader with immortal longings. To read it is to swim in a river of old with Joseph Campbell, whose capacity for knowledge was as vast as his passion for living. This potent telling of the quest of one who brought life to myth and myth to life is the book of the year." (Jean Houston, author of The Search for the Beloved)
From the Back Cover
“A marvelous account of the life of a man who fell in love with stories and became our greatest teller of timeless myths. A feast for the mind, the imagination, and the heart.”
--Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly
“Joseph Campbell was an amazing, abundant, humane man. This book, by incorporating his journals, letters, and a massive offering of his intellectual sources, helps us understand how, in this half-dead world, such a character comes to be.”
--Robert Bly, poet and author of Iron John: A Book About Men
“Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind ignites the soul of the reader with immortal longings. To read it is to swim in a river of old with Joseph Campbell, whose capacity for knowledge was as vast as his passion for living. [It is a] potent telling of the quest of one who brought life to myth and myth to life.”
--Jean Houston, author of The Search for the Beloved
Joseph Campbell forged an approach to the study of myth and legend that made ancient traditions and beliefs immediate, relevant, and universal. His teachings and literary works, including The Masks of God, have shown that beneath the apparent themes of world mythology lie patterns that reveal the ways in which we all may encounter the great mysteries of existence: birth, growth, soul development, and death. Biographers Stephen and Robin Larsen were students and friends of Campbell for more than twenty years. With exclusive access to his personal papers and journals, they weave a rich tapestry of stories and insights that catalogue both his personal and public triumphs.
STEPHEN LARSEN, Ph.D., is the author of The Shaman’s Doorway and The Mythic Imagination. He is a practicing psychotherapist and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at SUNY (Ulster). Robin Larsen, Ph.D., is an exhibiting artist and art historian. She is editor-in-chief of the tricentennial biography and anthology Emanuel Swedenborg: A Continuing Vision. The Larsens co-direct the Center for Symbolic Studies in New Paltz, New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is dense at times because of the Larsens' careful documentation and because Campbell's very life was so dense with accomplishment and discovery. I found the Larsens' scholarship to be impeccable and the coverage of a remarkable life thorough. Because they were friends of the Campbells, an air of authenticiy is added to their work. My only disappointment was their lack of reporting of his deeper response to his illness and impending death. I feel more information in this delicate area would have been appropriate because of the biographical nature of the work and because of Campbell's own personal spiritual belief system.
I highly recommend this volume to anyone who wishes to learn more about one of the most formidable intellectuals of the 20th century. Because the book is so well-written, entertaining, and well-documented, it will enliven the days of your reading...and well beyond!
This authorized biography does not disappoint. It is a wealth of information from personal journals, letters, interviews with friends and family, most generously provided by his widow, Jean Erdman Campbell.
Yes, it is a lengthy tome since it is chronicaling the life and works of one of this centuries most prolific writers and original thinkers, well worth the time it's taken to read it.
Joseph Campbell, the eldest of three, had progressive parents who recognized their childrens natural talents and provided the best education to ameliorate their gifts. As I read, I was impressed how from a young age, Joseph Campbell viewed his world and continued to pursue answers to questions, and in turn, enlighten others through his lectures and writings.
His relationship with friends, colleagues, mentors and his wife is tightly woven into this biography, he was grateful for all the support he received from his "fans." I was constantly surprised with whom he met along his life's path, John Steinbeck, Carl G. Jung to name a few.
I am now embarking on reading Jung, influenced by Joseph Campbells admiration of his works and contributions to the study of the psyche. Hoping to open a new way of thinking myself.
His anxiety regarding various life changing situations and the consequent choices offer a rare insight to those who enjoy (suffer?) the artist's temperament.
The Larsens have presented a satisfying panorama of Joseph Campbell's life. I wonder how they were able to choose from the wealth of information available, but am grateful for their work.
I cried when the hero dies at the end of this book, and even as I write these words my heart catches and holds this delicious sorrow. During this week as I finished the book I was also watching the DVD set of Mythos I got for Christmas. I recommend your doing this: invest in both the book and one of his DVD lectures. Reread Hero, if you have not already read it. Awaken the power of Mythos within you and as Campbell says: Follow your Bliss.
This book is a fascinating read that is well-written, comprehensive, and informative. Through understanding the life and experiences of Joseph Campbell, I've been able to contextualize his ideas and philosophy and gain a deeper insight into what drove him and how he understood the world.
It's a great read, and essential for any serious fan of his work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it came four days after i ordered it. it was the right price and i got to re-reading it.Published 5 months ago by Lawrence E. George
This is an inspiring and deep look at a highly authentic and original trail blazer. Reading his personal journal entries and his prolific and insightful letters as he struggled to... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
Most people know something of Joseph Campbell's scholarly dedication to mythology, and his commitment to the world of arts and letters. Read morePublished 17 months ago by David
One Mans life Long Study of Research and Enlightenment. WOW !!! We can All save a lifetime of Study and Research !! Find the answers to LIFE's Questions ..... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Paul R Bissell
This is a truly excellent biography of Joseph Campbell -- one I could scarcely put down. Lots of stories and anecdotes I've not encountered elsewhere. Highly recommend.Published 20 months ago by Serious shopper
There was a lot of interesting material about his associations, John Steinbeck, Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, etc. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Marion Bartlett
I've admired Campbell's writing and video documentaries for years, but not until I read this book did I come to feel as though I knew him. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Nina
Usually I read a book once and maybe years later I read it again. But there’s so much in this biography of the life and times of Joe Campbell, it’s impossible to digest it in one... Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by Susan Scharfman