A study of heroism in the myths of the world - an exploration of all the elements common to the great stories that have helped people make sense of ...Show synopsisA study of heroism in the myths of the world - an exploration of all the elements common to the great stories that have helped people make sense of their lives from the earliest times. It takes in Greek Apollo, Maori and Jewish rites, the Buddha, Wotan, and the bothers Grimm's Frog-King.Hide synopsis
The Hero with a Thousand Faces (MacMillan Audio) – Audiobook CD (2001)
Joseph Campbell, Ralph Blum (Read by)
Audiobook CD, MacMillan Audio 2001
ISBN: 1559276401 ISBN-13: 9781559276405
Joseph Cambell transformed forever the way we view mythology, as he wove traditional wisdom together with the modern struggle for identity and spiritual depth. This adaptation of his all-time bestseller gives new life to his brilliant poetic vision. The Adventure of the Hero, part one, describes the universal image of the hero and shows that folklore and myth can serve as potent spiritual and psychological metaphors for modern man. This part of the program follows the mythological path from immaturity to freedom -- the ...Show moreJoseph Cambell transformed forever the way we view mythology, as he wove traditional wisdom together with the modern struggle for identity and spiritual depth. This adaptation of his all-time bestseller gives new life to his brilliant poetic vision. The Adventure of the Hero, part one, describes the universal image of the hero and shows that folklore and myth can serve as potent spiritual and psychological metaphors for modern man. This part of the program follows the mythological path from immaturity to freedom -- the heroic inner struggle that leads from birth to spiritual rebirth -- to help us understand ourselves and the essence of what it means to be human beings. The Cosmogonic Cycle, part two, explores the global legends of the origins and creation of the universe and studies the hero in his various guises, including those of warrior, love, world redeemer and saint. The saga leads us to the culmination of the cycle, the dissolution of the universe and the passing of the hero to other realms -- a metaphor for the dissolution and resurrection of ourselves, and the hero that lives within us all. This program is read by renowned author and cultural anthropologist Ralph Blum, who brings a special sensitivity and power to Joseph Campbell's magical portrayal of our struggle to comprehend the timeless mysteries of our physical and spiritual worlds.Hide
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I was interested in reading this book after reading The Power of Myth last year, by the same author. Whereas the Power of Myth was essentially an overview of Cambell's work, this book is a deeper, more specific study. One of the best things about it is how it illustrates the major arguments by including large selections of many myths from all over the world.
Originally written in 1949, this book has become a classic, wielding an influence at least as great as that of Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough. Many prominent people have admitted being influenced by it, including filmmaker George Lucas, who read it after completing the draft of the first "Star Wars" movie and went back and revised his screenplay to more-closely follow Campbell's ideas.
Campbell's thesis was that all cultural and religious myths were basically the same; that is, they generally conformed to a universal model, which Campbell claimed has remained remarkably constant throughout mankind's history. Campbell also agreed with Sigmund Freud and Robert Graves that myths are deliberately disguised, so that only the enlightened understand them. What we see superficially as an astounding story contains a deep, fundamental concept of mankind's most basic nature.
As an explanation of why this universal aspect exists, Campbell further maintained that we all have hero-dreams that follow the same pattern: we are alone, we come upon a major obstacle, we overcome the problem, either through our own efforts or by the help of another, and suddenly find great peace and contentment. This is the universal hero-saga and any story that adheres to this outline will (properly told) strike a universal chord of sympathy.
Campbell was extremely well-read and the book is a treasure-trove of folkloric anecdotes. One could call it a one-volume education in mythology. it is also beautifully written, with the grace of a poet and the skill of a masterly storyteller.
I bought this to listen to while on a plane...it was something I thought about using when I teach...as I do teach units on heroes and myths. While the story was good...taking the hero myths and stories in all different directions...I would definitely recommend actually reading this and not listening to it. The language at times is complicated, and the ideas are too deep to listen to. Bottom line...great book...not so much in audio.
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