158 of 169 people found the following review helpful
A Book with a capital "B.",
This review is from: The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Bollingen Series, No. 17) (Paperback)
First of all, I feel inadequate and unworthy to review this book, but since Amazon has given me the chance, all I can say is that this is one of the greatest Books (with a capital "B") of my experience. I suspect that it shall be recognised as one of the single greatest products to come out of 20th century American letters.
No, I'm not setting Campbell up as a prophet or anything like that, indeed, I suspect that this book's greatness lies in the eternal truths that transcend Campbell's individual personality. He just managed to tap into them- thank God.
The entire book deals with the hero's journey. This is the Monomyth shared by all cultures- and indeed seems to be a direct inspiration from the cosmos itself by way of the collective unconscious. Here we have the eternal cycle of 1) the call to adventure; 2) the crossing of the threshold; 3) the tests, trials, and helpers; 4) the sacred marriage, apotheosis (becoming one with god), or elixir theft; 5)the flight 6) recrossing/ressurection; and 7) the return to society with hard won gifts. He examines all of these elements in depth with a wealth of cross-cultural examples. The first half of the book deals with this cycle on a more individual and personal level (the microcosm), while the second half deals with the greater cosmogonic importance (the macrocosm.)
Now, the really amazing part of all this is that virtually all of it comes across as meaningful, interesting, and totally nonacademic. That's why academic types hate Campbell, and his mentor Jung,- they know that Campbell's and Jung's works will endure and be read a thousand years from now, while their own monographs will be justly forgotten. There are a lot of mediocre Ph.D's out there that can never forget that Campbell never bothered to get a doctorate, because he considered such degrees to be a worthless and meaningless waste of time....
I've read this particular edition three times now- it is well designed and manufactured and has resonable sized print. I've also listened to the entire audio version at least twice- it is well edited and it is very difficult to figure out where exactly it is abridged.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 23, 2011 8:44:45 AM PDT
Maranda Collins-marvin says:
Oakshaman! You summed it up beautifully!
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2012 7:55:50 PM PDT
Ross Morrison says:
Yeah, that's way better than I could have described it myself. Suffice it to say, if you want to be a successful writer, you know the ins and outs of this book.
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