Mythic Imagination: Collected Short Fiction


In these seven extraordinary short stories, only one of which has been previously published, legendary mythologist Joseph Campbell explores themes he would later develop in his pioneering nonfiction.

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In these seven extraordinary short stories, only one of which has been previously published, legendary mythologist Joseph Campbell explores themes he would later develop in his pioneering nonfiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his introduction, Kudler, Managing Editor of the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, supplies what to him is a self-evident explanation as to why only one of the seven surviving pieces of Campbell's short fiction was published before: "Given that his fiction hewed to the tropes of neither the realistic nor the speculative fiction, it's no surprise that Campbell couldn't find a publisher for his stories." Most readers won't be surprised either, but for different reasons. Though Campbell had a great mind for mythology, he fumbles here with fiction that is unredeemed by portentous and overwrought prologues. Four of the stories form a "Where Moth and Rust" cycle, which "was discovered in a manuscript that comes to us, by a curious turn, from the most distant future," and depicts a "mood, which so collides (to its own great discredit) with the wholesome hopefulness of the modern Christian." That ponderous preamble doesn't make the first story, "The Forgotten Man," in which the white U.S. president wakes up as an African-American and is forced from office, any more palatable. Given the insights Campbell was capable of in his influential non-fiction, it's not surprising to learn that these subpar efforts predated his decision to concentrate on comparative mythology. Readers hoping for a reflection of his unquestioned expertise and sophistication in other areas will be disappointed.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608681532
  • Publisher: New World Library
  • Publication date: 11/20/2012
  • Series: The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,013,491
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

About The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell vii

Introduction David Kudler ix

Part I Moonlight in Vermont 1

Part II Where Moth and Rust: A Story Cycle 21

Foreword 23

Prelude 24

1 The Forgotten Man 27

2 The Belly of the Shark 59

3 The Lord of Love 87

4 Voracious 135

Part III Last Paradise 197

Appendix. Strictly Platonic: The Romance of a Bookworm Who Lost His Goat and Found Himself Famous 247

A Joseph Campbell Bibliography 261

About the Author 265

About The Joseph Campbell Foundation 267

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