The Power of Myth (Anglais) Broché – 1 juin 1991
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The national bestseller, now available in a non-illustrated, standard format paperback edition
The Power of Myth launched an extraordinary resurgence of interest in Joseph Campbell and his work. A preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher, he has had a profound influence on millions of people--including Star Wars creator George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the “song of the universe, the music of the spheres.” With Bill Moyers, one of America’s most prominent journalists, as his thoughtful and engaging interviewer, The Power of Myth touches on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births, from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a brilliant combination of intelligence and wit.
This extraordinary book reveals how the themes and symbols of ancient narratives continue to bring meaning to birth, death, love, and war. From stories of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome to traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, a broad array of themes are considered that together identify the universality of human experience across time and culture. An impeccable match of interviewer and subject, a timeless distillation of Campbell’s work, The Power of Myth continues to exert a profound influence on our culture.
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Un livre passionnant à lire absolument.
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As someone with a degree in computer science with a minor in math I consider myself a fairly intelligent person and I found myself very humbled (to the point of feeling stupid) by Campbell's vast intellect. Joseph Campbell speaks with so much knowledge, wisdom and experience that I found myself having to re-read many of the passages 2 and even 3 times for me to understand and take in all he has said.
This is definitely a book that isn't light reading and I can easily see myself re-reading many times over the course of my life. I'm sure each time I will get just as much new understanding as I did my first reading. There's simply too much in this to comprehend in a single read-through (in my opinion).
I liked this book so much I just had to get more of Joseph Campbell so I bought "The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell)"
TLDR: Buy this book you won't regret it!
I love this particular book because it's an interview between to really gifted men who respect each other, and seem to have a wonderful time just talking about what they love. It's much easier to grasp some of Campbell's concepts because frankly, he can make your head spin with his theories and concepts. This book is like being a fly on the wall while two men talk over dinner. Most of it I can understand, but I have to admit, sometimes things get a little over my head.
They were talking about life in general and Campbell says this: "I will participate in the game. It is a wonderful, wonderful opera--except that it hurts". page 81 I don't know how you can sum up life any better than that. Life is wonderful and it does hurt.
Then Campbell talks about the 'hero' which everyone one of us is. "The hero is the one who comes to participate in life courageously and decently, in the way of nature, not in the way of personal rancor, disappointment, or revenge." page 82. There you have it. To do life right, you need to be the hero and you need to be courageous and decent. Campbell wrote the book Hero With A Thousand Faces, a compilation of the mythology of the world and this is what he came up with. Screen writers use Campbell's work to outline movies because it's journey we all recognize either on the surface or down in our subconscious, and we know that we are the hero of our own journey.
"So Jesus says, Judge not that you may not be judged. That is to say, put yourself back in the position of Paradise before you thought in terms of good and evil. You don't hear this much from the pulpits. But one of the great challenges of life is to say "yea" that that person or that act or that condition which in your mind is most abominable." page 32. What I grasp from this statement is that Campbell is trying to say that we need to look at things from a higher level. A poisonous snake is not evil it just is. When you kill it to save someone, you're saying no to the situation, you're not saying that the snake is evil.
I love the genius of Joseph Campbell and this is an easy(comparatively) book to understand him and what he's trying to say without your head exploding. His opening up the world of myth makes him a hero in my book.
"People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive." - Joseph Campbell, "The Power of Myth"
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