Synopses & Reviews
In a time of felt mythlessness, when the culture suffers a crunching literalism in politics, in religion, and in everyday human relationships, Campbells little book on the metaphoric and mythic quality of life functions as a grand net of gems.”
David L. Miller, Watson-Ledden professor of religions, Syracuse University
Campbell, who is known for speaking his mind, pulls no punches here. This book, more than any other, unambiguously delineates his basic understanding of mythology and religion....Inveterate underliners will be tempted to highlight things on virtually every page.”
The wealth and breadth of reference in this small book is truly prodigious...as Campbell now soars like an eagle to a generalization about The Big Bang, now dives like a hawk to a precise description of the color and number of lotus petals in each of the seven centers of the chakra system, rendering both lucid in a single universe of discourse.”
The last book Joseph Campbell completed before his death, this wide-ranging collection grew from a series of lectures he delivered in San Francisco, which included a legendary symposium with astronaut Rusty Schweickart. Here he explores the Space Age and posits that the newly discovered laws of outer space are actually within us as well, and that a new mythology is implicit in that realization. Campbell explores this possibility in the concluding essay, "The Way of Art," where he demonstrates that metaphor is the language of art and argues that within the psyches of today's artists are the seeds of tomorrow's mythologies. Also included are Campbell's thoughts on mythology as a function of biology in "Myth and the Body" and his series of essays, "Metaphor as Myth and as Religion," where he presented for the first time a fundamental summary of his pioneering work in mythology and comparative religion.
In these pages, beloved mythologist Joseph Campbell explores the Space Age. He posits that the newly discovered laws of outer space are actually within us as well, and that a new mythology is implicit in that realization. But what is this new mythology? How can we recognize it? Campbell explores these questions in the concluding essay, The Way of Art,” in which he demonstrates that metaphor is the language of art and argues that within the psyches of todays artists are the seeds of tomorrows mythologies.
Campbell writes in his introduction: My desire and great pleasure in the preparation of this little volume has been as rendering a return gift to the Graces for the transforming insights of these recent years, which...we have been testing out in a broadly shared spiritual adventure.”
About the Author
(1904-1987) is widely credited with bringing mythology to a mass audience. His works, including the four-volume The Masks of God
and The Power of Myth
(with Bill Moyers), rank among the classics in mythology and literature.