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am 15. April 2015
Wer sich leichte, schnell konsumierbare Kost mit viel lockerem Lesespaß erwartet wird hier ermüden... und sollte besser auf Christopher Voglers Standartwerk "The Heroes Journey" ausweichen.
Wer tiefere Einblicke und einen breiten und umfassenden Blick auf Dramaturgie und deren mythologischen Wurzeln werfen will der wird hier reich belohnt. Das Buch ist ein Schatz und lässt niemanden ohne große Bereicherung zurück. Campbells Standard- und Meisterwerk geht weit über reinen Know-How-Transfer hinaus uns schenkt Fremd- und Selbsterkenntnis.
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am 4. Februar 2014
Many pictures illustrate Campbell's text. His ideas come across as slightly whacky, but ultimately the basic concept of the monomyth is convincingly argued, and Campbell certainly draws on a vast body of knowledge. Whether you like his style – which is eloquent, if not always simple – or not, this is entertaining and fascinating. Christopher Vogler's reworking of big bits of this book into a guideline for screenwriting seems to misrepresent certain details, which might explain why some topoi of Hollywood cinema have become clichés rather than elements of story that strike a deeper chord within us as human beings.
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am 2. Dezember 2015
Bought this, in part, because you can't ignore this work if you are interested in storytelling.
It is said George Lucas wrote Star Wars after reading this book.
I just saw it on the shelf of my favourite university teacher, marked with about a thousand colour-coded post-its, and got a glowing recommendation from her.
It really is a great read. Easy to understand, entertaining, and hugely educational. I've learned facts about cultures I previously knew nothing about (African, Native American, Hindu, Chinese, etc.). These are cultures that I thought I knew "something" about, but, really, I didn't.
Can recommend, also to novices of myths and storytelling structure.
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am 8. Juni 2017
It was delivered very quick considering it was dispatched from UK. Thoroughly enjoyed and the read and insight to this masterpiece.
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am 15. Juni 2017
Das Buch ist das Bibel für zukünftige Drehbuch und Schriftsteller. Nur mit den Inhalt diesem Buch, man kann alle Helden in viele beliebte Geschichten besser verstehen.
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am 29. August 2016
Book has a nice cover, god quality paper and print, great riding I am enjoining! Delivery was very fast! Thank you!
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am 28. April 1998
Joseph Campbell was one of the great souls of our age. I've read this book twice, first on my own and the second for a class in "Myth, Religion & the Mythic Imagination." I read the paperack to tatters, literally, marking each illuminating, exhilirating insight. "Dry"? "Not a fun read"? What book did YOU read? Campbell is unlike other writers on myth; he looks not at an entire myth but at its parts. By the end of the book, he has essentially created the Ultimate Hero Myth, which takes bits of every hero myth from virtually every culture (heavy on Native Americans). Campbell was not a dispassionate academic--this was his gospel, and he lived by it. This book is alive and inspiring like no other book I know. One unique aspect of it at the time it was published was its approach to Christianity. For Campbell, Christ's life had to be seen as a myth. Before him, most Western scholars wouldn't have dare to say such a thing. Others had written on that, but in a skeptical manner. Campbell's view is that the Virgin Birth, miracles, Resurrection, etc have meaning only because they ARE myths. Look, there'd be no "Star Wars" without this. No "Sandman" comics from Neil Gaiman. No "Watership Down." This book is for the intellectual who wants to LIVE, not just to sit sterile at the desk. Recommended like mad.
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am 19. Juni 2000
Having moved so far beyond the intellectual/psychological paradigms Campbell subscribed to and so magnificently introduced to me with this book, I had forgotten how important his way of thinking is and had been to both regular people and anthropological scholarship- and my own personal development as a person.
Joseph Campbell was an intellectual/spiritual throwback to the pre-Victorian age, when myth was not degraded for religious, socio-political and scientific agendas. It is almost hard to believe- thanks to him- that the word could have ever taken on the connotation of lie or trivial fantasy. Or, that the ancient myths at the foundation of what we know to be culture, universal in much of their form and reason for being, could ever possibly be ignored or trivialized. So much wealth of human history do they hold, and so many treasures of inner knowledge do they make as gifts.
Campbell set out to be not just a scholar or intellectual, but a modern Bard of his own, in the tradition of Homer, Sophecles, Confucius, Shakespeare and Freud. In so doing, he also cut through much of the modern culture's historic efforts to divide the world into some form of the Pagan/Believer dichotomy (via religon or science or politics vs. the regular folks of every century and their traditions) and reestablish the hegemony of the ancient truths that still serve as the fountain head of our imagination. HERO OF A THOUSAND FACES does that so elegantly, and so compassionately, that it becomes a truly life- affirming as well as paradigm shifting adventure.
Some scholars have had and will continue to have problems with his work and approach. Don't kid yourself; it's in part because he was such a wonderful writer who can connect the daunting intellectual scope of his ideas with the general public, almost regardless of one's level of education. Weaker writers cannot do that, regardless of their intellectual capacity or theories, and hide in the ivory tower where it is safe. Another reason, however, is the degree to which his work relied on the psychological theories of Jung. Though Jung's genius is also unquestionable, he did not provide the only lens by which to look at ancient myth, and via staying so deeply in a psychological paradigm (for more than just altruistic therapeutic reasons) he served to antagonize variant approaches and perspectives on the same materials. (Jungian psychologists and architects for example can almost never sit in the same room together without a fistfight practically ensuing, so violently and diametrically opposed they become on Jung's interpretations of what very often is actually ancient science and mathematics.) Yet though I tend not to agree with a significant portion of the meaning given to Campbell's work and discoveries anymore for that reason, I cannot help but remember that it was he more or less who opened my eyes to so much of what I now understand to be human and universal, transcending culture, "race", language and time.
Campbell's unexpected bringing together of mythical similarities from Celtic, native American, Indian, Bablyonian and other divergent world sources of myth is done so well, and so poetically while again with great erudition, it will put you in touch with much of what is beautiful in art, literature, religion, and the human mind- not to mention the human heart. And of the several of his books I have read, HERO OF A THOUSAND FACES is the best. Your soul-quest will far from end with his work and ideas, but I can't imagine it having a better beginning.
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am 25. Oktober 1998
This book is, in my humble opinion, the most important book of the 20th Century. Campbell provides the key to unlocking the rich, inner meaning of the world's myths and hero stories. All these myriad hero tales, from Moses to Buddha, from apparently simple childrens' fables to grand epics, are seen as roadmaps for our own journey as individuals. Campbell asks: "Why do all of the hundreds of cultures have hero stories? Why do all of these hero stories have the exact same structure?" The answers are that this particular structure resonates in us -- we unconsiously recognize in it the story of our own journey of self-discovery. This book is a must read for any person who wants to understand energies and structures within us, that we all must face. Campbell's work is a joyful illumination of this journey. The Joseph Campbell Foundation is carrying on Campbell's insights.
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am 27. Juni 2000
Campbell's reputation gives every indication of gathering momentum, now that he's passed away,
"Everybody loves you, when you're six feet in the ground."
and some of us who were reading Campbell over 10 years ago have ambivalent feelings about the March violets which are springing up, uncritically singing his praises. It's positive, but would Campbell have approved of this sort of adulation? (He described himself as "a maverick", not a hero.)
1. "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" is the starting point for Bill Moyers' six videotaped conversations with Campbell: "The Power of Myth", (videocassette no.1 - THE HERO'S ADVENTURE). My personal recommendation is to buy the videos first to come down with a good case of the author's infectious enthusiasm about his subject.
2. This book is not a bad starting point for a first reading of Campbell. It was my first Campbell book.
A drawdown is the less-than-typically-engaging style, making it not the most enjoyable read of his extensive opus. (Campbell's first major tome -if memory serves- perhaps it was written with an eye toward critical peer reviews?)
On the other hand, the book is well-crafted, satisfying, and does not drag; you're carried along by the interest of discovery, (much like a detective novel), unveiling skeins of meaning in apparently unrelated, seemingly indecipherable, symbols and traditions.
It clearly persuades of unifying themes in diverse traditions while outlining certain basic rites of passage in every hero adventure: real, fantastic, or mythological.
3. So, what do heroes do? A hero is one who gives himself to something bigger than himself, or other than himself.
Campbell points out that heroes evolve as cultures evolve, describing heroes who perform war/physical acts, a la Beowulf and Gilgamesh, then progressing to other feats of altruistic endurance: Spiritual, emotional, or intellectual.
Jesus, the Buddha, Mahomet, Moses - all participate in the standard format of Spiritual heroic achievement, (the first two with close parallels).
Briefly, the hero leaves for adventure, willingly or unwillingly, summoned or unsummoned. (Or the adventure may occur serendipitously on the way to somewhere else.)
There is often a messenger to arouse the hero to action: the old milkwoman in Joyce's "Ulysses"; Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings"; Athene in Homer's "Odyssey"; Phillipe in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"; the White Rabbit in Alice's adventures, Obi-Wan in Lucas' "Star Wars", etc...
There is usually a barrier, peopled by guardians, between the everyday world whose knowledges and perceptions the hero has assimilated, and the foreign world of unknown and waiting adventures. Successful passage of this obstacle gives entree to the mythic realm of "the Soul's high adventure".
Another common thread in hero tales is "the descent into the dark". This can be viewed not only as the trip into the unknown (sketched above), but also as an especially nasty sub-variant of it, which occurs along the way. At this point, one of two things happens: either the hero is cut to pieces (to be later resurrected), or escapes, renewed. I always recall the Steadfast Tin Soldier of Hans Andersen, who sails a paper boat through the sewer only to then be swallowed by a fish. (Subsequently rescued, subsequently destroyed, subsequently subliminally resurrected.)
Having successfully completed his mission, the hero ultimately returns from his travels, or his return is forecasted (King Arthur, Jesus, etc..), to guide and help others.
4. The hero's journey may be represented as a trek into a labyrinth, and at the center of every labyrinth there waits a minotaur. The purpose of the journey, the catalyst, being the hero's own Soul, which seeks out those adventures it requires for further growth:
"The adventure he's ready for is the adventure he gets".
This is not one of the great books of the age, if for no other reason because Campbell wrote so many more, but it IS a definite must-read for someone interested in acquiring the rudiments of a perception of the heroic themes and motifs in his own and others lives.
5. The book's signal strength is that it serves to blur the mind's eye to the distinction between mythology, religion, and philosophy. And this is a major thrust of Campbell's work: to create an even ground for all the spiritual traditions of mankind (with circumspection). This crucial psychological insight is Ariadne's thread - we escape the chthonic, claustrophobic labyrinth of dead men's thoughts and fossilized traditions, emerging exultant to breathe clean, cold mountain air: the meaning and message of these tales, bequeathed to us from those who have already lived what we are living; having returned from the foreign shores of the Soul's circumference, these men and women's charts are still as modern as tomorrow afternoon, and we do well to consult them.
Campbell's work is to give us a feel for our commonality with all men and women of all times and climes: this book succeeds, making us better citizens of the world.
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