Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind: The Authorized Biography

Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind: The Authorized Biography

by Stephen Larsen, Robin Larsen
     
 

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MYTHOLOGY / BIOGRAPHY

“A marvelous account of the life of a man who fell in love with stories and became our greatest teller of timeless myths. A feast for the mind, the imagination, and the heart.”
--Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly

“Joseph Campbell was an amazing, abundant, humane man. This book, by incorporating his

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Overview

MYTHOLOGY / BIOGRAPHY

“A marvelous account of the life of a man who fell in love with stories and became our greatest teller of timeless myths. A feast for the mind, the imagination, and the heart.”
--Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly

“Joseph Campbell was an amazing, abundant, humane man. This book, by incorporating his journals, letters, and a massive offering of his intellectual sources, helps us understand how, in this half-dead world, such a character comes to be.”
--Robert Bly, poet and author of Iron John: A Book About Men

Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind ignites the soul of the reader with immortal longings. To read it is to swim in a river of old with Joseph Campbell, whose capacity for knowledge was as vast as his passion for living. [It is a] potent telling of the quest of one who brought life to myth and myth to life.”
--Jean Houston, author of The Search for the Beloved

Joseph Campbell forged an approach to the study of myth and legend that made ancient traditions and beliefs immediate, relevant, and universal. His teachings and literary works, including The Masks of God, have shown that beneath the apparent themes of world mythology lie patterns that reveal the ways in which we all may encounter the great mysteries of existence: birth, growth, soul development, and death. Biographers Stephen and Robin Larsen were students and friends of Campbell for more than twenty years. With exclusive access to his personal papers and journals, they weave a rich tapestry of stories and insights that catalogue both his personal and public triumphs.

STEPHEN LARSEN, Ph.D., is the author of The Shaman’s Doorway and The Mythic Imagination. He is a practicing psychotherapist and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at SUNY (Ulster). Robin Larsen, Ph.D., is an exhibiting artist and art historian. She is editor-in-chief of the tricentennial biography and anthology Emanuel Swedenborg: A Continuing Vision. The Larsens co-direct the Center for Symbolic Studies in New Paltz, New York.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind ignites the soul of the reader with immortal longings. To read it is to swim in a river of old with Joseph Campbell, whose capacity for knowledge was as vast as his passion for living. This potent telling of the quest of one who brought life to myth and myth to life is the book of the year."

"A marvelous account of the life of a man who fell in love with stories and became our greatest teller of timeless myths. A feast for the mind, the imagination, and the heart."

"Joseph Campbell was an amazing, abundant, humane man. This book, by incorporating his journals, letters, and a massive offering of his intellectual sources, helps us understand how, in this half-dead world, such a character comes to be."

author of The Search for the Beloved Jean Houston
"Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind ignites the soul of the reader with immortal longings. To read it is to swim in a river of old with Joseph Campbell, whose capacity for knowledge was as vast as his passion for living. This potent telling of the quest of one who brought life to myth and myth to life is the book of the year."
author of Fire in the Belly Sam Keen
"A marvelous account of the life of a man who fell in love with stories and became our greatest teller of timeless myths. A feast for the mind, the imagination, and the heart."
poet and mythologist Robert Bly
"Joseph Campbell was an amazing, abundant, humane man. This book, by incorporating his journals, letters, and a massive offering of his intellectual sources, helps us understand how, in this half-dead world, such a character comes to be."
Robert Bly
"Joseph Campbell was an amazing, abundant, humane man. This book, by incorporating his journals, letters, and a massive offering of his intellectual sources, helps us understand how, in this half-dead world, such a character comes to be."
Sam Keen
"A marvelous account of the life of a man who fell in love with stories and became our greatest teller of timeless myths. A feast for the mind, the imagination, and the heart."
Jean Houston
"Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind ignites the soul of the reader with immortal longings. To read it is to swim in a river of old with Joseph Campbell, whose capacity for knowledge was as vast as his passion for living. This potent telling of the quest of one who brought life to myth and myth to life is the book of the year."
Booknews
This is a reprint of the text originally published in 1991. Students and friends of Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) for about 20 years, the authors had access to his personal papers and journals in the preparation of this detailed and insightful account of Campbell's life. The new edition includes a preface in which the authors comment briefly on posthumous criticisms of Campbell and the popularity of his work, and suggest the relevance of Campbell to contemporary American life. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892818730
Publisher:
Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date:
04/28/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
688
Sales rank:
414,901
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

Page 5
As an adult of considerable cultural refinement and social polish, Joseph Campbell himself seemed amused by how much he identified with the rustic visionaries and antlered shamans of the "primitive," preliterate world. There was never any doubt that he preferred the little Indian to General Crook. A deeply felt connection with nature and psyche was pitted against collective patterns of thought and behavior; the Paleolithic versus the Neolithic worldviews; the hunters versus the planters, the shamans versus the priests of orthodoxy. These value conflicts would become lifelong elements of his personal mythscape.
Why, he asked, contemplating a culture with such obvious identity problems, should we remain rootless, when voices and visions since time out of mind beckon us to find our place in a timeless human community? Campbell felt that by bringing ancient myths recurrently to the attention of the literate community, he was giving these root metaphors a voice--explaining why they, too, must contribute not only to our world, but to the shaping of our worldview. His vision began, as we have seen, with an ear close to the soil of his native land, and to the end of his life he was highly conscious, and mostly proud, of being an American. Could we draw some nobility and some human wisdom, he wondered, from our own tragically conquered and subjected native population?

What People are saying about this

Sam Keen
A marvelous account of the life of a man who fell in love with stories and became our greatest teller of timeless myths. A feast for the mind, the imagination, and the heart.(Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly)
Jean Houston
Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind ignites the soul of the reader with immortal longings. To read it is to swim in a river of old with Joseph Campbell, whose capacity for knowledge was as vast as his passion for living. This potent telling of the quest of one who brought life to myth and myth to life is the book of the year.(Jean Houston, author of The Search for the Beloved)
Robert Bly
Joseph Campbell was an amazing, abundant, humane man. This book, by incorporating his journals, letters, and a massive offering of his intellectual sources, helps us understand how, in this half-dead world, such a character comes to be.(Robert Bly, poet and mythologist)

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