I just finished up reading Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces those of you that know anything about my current academic research, will know that this book is fundamental in almost everything I write. I am excited to write a review for it. Look for it by the end of the night tonight.
OK, here it is. I tried not to reveal too much to anyone that hasn’t read it let me know what you think of the book or my review. I am always reachable and appreciative of feedback.
I sat down to write this review at least a dozen times today, and every time I got stuck at about this point. I can’t begin to explain the importance of this book and the research and knowledge displayed in it. It spans genre, time, and medium. It delves into the collective unconscious and conscious mind with the dogged determination of an Olympic swimmer in the last lap of their relay. Joseph Campbell was a mind that I’m not sure we will ever see an equivalent too. Because of this, the book does tend to be incredibly dense and difficult to read particularly to someone unfamiliar with literary analysis or comparative mythology. The connections he made between myths that spanned the globe, in time periods in which they could have never intersected is incredibly important. His research gave way to the idea of a shared human narrative. Further examined through comparative mythology and literary examination. But he didn’t stop by only recognizing these connections, he identified them. He connected and laid out the pattern of “The Hero’s Journey” which anyone with any experience in storytelling, film, television, or literature will recognize. I won’t ruin the cycle for you, but I will say that it is prevalent in nearly every successful narrative that I have ever encountered. He briefly discusses the importance of the idea in this book and because of this identification storytelling was completely altered for all subsequent generations. I am working on a project utilizing aspects of his research to build off in hopes of taking it further. If you haven’t read this book and desire to be a scholar, academic, student, or teacher than you are failing yourself. The only word that I can think to describe this book is enlightening.-JM