Conversations on Mythology and Life
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Product Details

  • Product Code: 88517
  • ISBN: 978-1-60868-851-7
  • Pages: 304
  • 1 Hardback
  • Size: 5.50 x 8.50


A wide-ranging collection of insights from legendary mythologist Joseph Campbell sourced from rare and previously unpublished interviews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 an entire generation of psychologists, artists, musicians, and creative writers found inspiration in his work.

In addition to writing prolifically, Campbell gave thousands of lectures and many interviews throughout his long 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 readers to witness Campbell’s charm, humor, and effortless command of the subject matter. 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?

In every conversation, 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.



“In our generation the mythographer who has had the fullest command of the huge scholarly literature, the analytical ability, the lucid prose, and the needed staying power has been Joseph Campbell.”