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In these pages, the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell presents twelve eclectic, far-ranging, and brilliant essays gathered together for the first time. The essays explore myth in all its dimensions: its history; its influence on art, literature, and culture; and its role in everyday life.
This second volume of Campbell’s essays (following The Flight of the Wild Gander) brings together his uncollected writings from 1959 to 1987. Written at the height of Campbell’s career—and showcasing the lively intelligence that made him the twentieth century’s premier writer on mythology—these essays investigate the profound links between myth, the individual, and societies ancient and contemporary. Covering diverse terrain ranging from psychology to the occult, from Thomas Mann to the Grateful Dead, from Goddess spirituality to Freud and Jung, these playful and erudite writings reveal the threads of myth woven deeply into the fabric of our culture and our lives.
“Campbell has become one of the rarest of intellectuals in American life: a serious thinker who has been embraced by the popular culture.”— Newsweek“No one in our century—not Freud, not Thomas Mann, not Lévi-Strauss—has so brought the mythical sense of the world and its eternal figures back into our everyday consciousness.”— James Hillman“In our generation the mythographer who has had the fullest command of the huge scholarly literature, the analytic ability, the lucid prose, and the needed staying power has been Joseph Campbell.”— Commentary“Accordingly the vision and the visionary, though apparently separate, are one; and all the heavens, all the hells, all the gods and demons, all the figures of the mythic worlds, are within us as portions of ourselves—portions, that is to say, that are of our deepest, primary nature, and thus of our share in nature. They are out there as well as in here, yet, in this field of consciousness, without separation. Our personal dreams are our personal guides, therefore, to the ranges of myth and of the gods. Dreams are our personal myths; myths, the general dream.”— Joseph Campbell, from The Mythic Dimension