The Hero With a Thousand Faces

by Joseph Campbell

New World Library | July 28, 2008 | Hardcover

The Hero With a Thousand Faces is rated 3.3333 out of 5 by 3.
Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell''s revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In these pages, Campbell outlines the Hero''s Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world''s mythic traditions. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction. As part of the Joseph Campbell Foundation''s Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, this third edition features expanded illustrations, a comprehensive bibliography, and more accessible sidebars. As relevant today as when it was first published, The Hero with a Thousand Faces continues to find new audiences in fields ranging from religion and anthropology to literature and film studies. The book has also profoundly influenced creative artists-including authors, songwriters, game designers, and filmmakers-and continues to inspire all those interested in the inherent human need to tell stories.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 432 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.43 in

Published: July 28, 2008

Publisher: New World Library

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1577315936

ISBN - 13: 9781577315933

Found in: Social and Cultural Studies

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from One who sleeps in timelessness: A review of Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces It is easy to be a muckraker when confronted with a cultural giant like Joseph Campbell, so I’ll begin with my apologies for taking the easy. THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES is some four-hundred pages of near impenetrable fog. Campbell shunts a pantheon of myths from around the world into a veritable random order of vague and loose-knit topics. It really is a gigantic mess. How it has come to be one of the best selling books on mythology is as mystifying as its convoluted prose. Certainly Campbell was a popular lecturer and all around masterful sage and story-teller… but one is left asking why this particular message managed to find such widespread appeal? What are some of the basic problems? We can start just about anywhere but there’s no place like the beginning. Right from the start Campbell claims that “It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation” (3). Myths are timeless. Myths have the character of supernatural inspiration. They are transcendence, divine. What does myth therefore not consist of? Politics and history. More than this, myths are not viewed as the work of human beings, they are the unequivocal product of the cosmos. He continues “For the symbols of mythology are not manufactured; they cannot be ordered, invented, or permanently suppressed. They are spontaneous productions of the psyche, and each bears within it, undamaged, the germ power of its source” (4). Myths are thus treated as a kind of divine revelation that can only be interpreted properly with the assistance of appropriately attuned clergy: Campbell… maybe Jung and Eliade as well. These are really unbearable and elitist claims. Should one interpret a myth in political terms, as a code for justifying slavery, the caste system, sexism, or homophobia, Campbell would respond by saying this is false: myth express the timeless, not the human. It isn’t much further along that Campbell goes on to say that all myths are basically the same, meaning that the complex and fascinating history of human beings is wholly irrelevant to the study of myth. Myth is transcendence and its symbols are identical in every time and in every place: the same hero, a thousand faces. Every mountain is a male, every valley a female. Water always signifies purification… this kind of reductionism renders the rich and complex history of myths flat and stagnant. Water is not always about purification, the Zoroastrians thought water was sacred and would not defile it by using it as a medium to purify anything. It is contextually inaccurate and boring. Worse, Campbell is able to glorify what happens in myth as a cosmic event. So, for instance, when a young man and woman are murdered by their fellow tribe members under the rubric of mythic re-enactment Campbell is able to say the expressed symbolism of union in life and in death is beautiful. He should be thinking about murder and politics, since the two individuals were very likely not selected by supernatural forces but calculatingly selected by a particular religious or political factions within the tribe. This amounts to a profound and deep-seated anti-humanism cloaked in the supremicist logic of spiritual enlightenment. The recommendations are from historians and scholars of religion who theorizing myths and mythology in a historical context.
Date published: 2008-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Mythology The Hero With a Thousand Faces is an excellent book. This book is about retelling stories, that have been alive for centuries. The Hero With a Thousand Faces is a myth book and also a philosophical book. Consisting of great ideas, and ones mans thoughts of what is or purpose/journey in life. This book is filled with love, passion, heroes, and heroines. The perfect book for anyone who loves mythology and/or philosophy.
Date published: 2006-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The classic book on myths This book is probably best known for its influence on George Lucas, and I have to admit that's what drew me to it in the first place. However, Campbell's work stands on its own as an overview of the myths that enrich all our lives - not just the obvious heroes. Everyone can find something to relate to in this version of the eternal quest for self.
Date published: 2005-09-12

– More About This Product –

The Hero With a Thousand Faces

by Joseph Campbell

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 432 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.43 in

Published: July 28, 2008

Publisher: New World Library

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1577315936

ISBN - 13: 9781577315933

About the Book

This newly redesigned edition of Campbell's seminal 1949 work combines the insights of modern psychology with the author's revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. Illustrated.

From the Publisher

Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell''s revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In these pages, Campbell outlines the Hero''s Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world''s mythic traditions. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction. As part of the Joseph Campbell Foundation''s Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, this third edition features expanded illustrations, a comprehensive bibliography, and more accessible sidebars. As relevant today as when it was first published, The Hero with a Thousand Faces continues to find new audiences in fields ranging from religion and anthropology to literature and film studies. The book has also profoundly influenced creative artists-including authors, songwriters, game designers, and filmmakers-and continues to inspire all those interested in the inherent human need to tell stories.

About the Author

Jospeh Campbell was born on March 26th in 1904, in White Plains, NY. As a child in New York, Campbell became interested in Native Americans and mythology through books about American Indians and visits to the American Museum of Natural History. Campbell attended Iona, a private school in Westchester NY, before his mother enrolled him at Canterbury, a Catholic residential school in New Milford CT. He graduated from Canterbury in 1921, and the following September, entered Dartmouth College; he soon dropped out and transferred to Columbia University, where he excelled. While specializing in medieval literature, he played in a jazz band, and became a star runner. After earning a B.A. from Columbia in 1925, and receiving an M.A. in 1927 for his work in Arthurian Studies, Campbell was awarded a Proudfit Traveling Fellowship to continue his studies at the University of Paris, studying medieval French and Sanskrit in Paris and Germany. After he had received and rejected an offer to teach at his high school alma mater, his Fellowship was renewed, and he traveled to Germany to resume his studies at the University of Munich. After travelling for some time, seeing the world, he was offered a teaching position at the Canterbury School. He returned to the East Coast, where he endured an unhappy year as a Canterbury housemaster, but sold his first short story, Strictly Platonic, to Liberty magazine. Then, in 1933, he moved to Woodstock NY, where he spent a year reading and writing. In 1934,
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