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Essential reading for writers or students of the hero myth
on 7 February 2018
This work is widely acknowledged to be one of the 'Must-Read' books for anyone interested in what lies behind/beneath the mythology and tales of heroism from the past.
Campbell applies psychology and analysis to the legends and translates the hidden meaning (clear to the authors at the time) into terms we can more easily comprehend with our modern syntax and environment.
Although the myths and tales are many and from different times and cultures, he contends they have a common thread and the book goes a long way towards carrying this argument forward and explaining what the cycle is.
Whether or not one agrees with him, this book gives us a vast resource to draw on and is a substantial step forward in understanding just what a hero might actually be. Some of the language can be dated, but it is still eminently clear and well reasoned.
The layout allows one to dip in and out after having read the first few dozen pages, with the table of contents at the beginning as a guide. The footnotes are copious and well worth referencing by the serious student, and the bibliography lays out enough further reading to last a lifetime. The comprehensive Index makes finding a topic easy. I wish more books were as well structured.