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A wide-ranging collection of insights from legendary mythologist Joseph Campbell, sourced from rare and previously unpublished interviews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 subsequent generations of psychologists, artists, and writers have found inspiration in his work.

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

Throughout, 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.


Praise for Joseph Campbell

“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

“Campbell has become the rarest of intellectuals in American life: a serious thinker who has been embraced by the popular culture.”

“There is no one quite like Joseph Campbell. He knows the vast sweep of man’s panoramic past as few men have ever known it.”
The Village Voice

“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.”