The Hero with a Thousand Faces

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

by Joseph Campbell
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Hardcover(Second Edition)

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Overview

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell


Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell’s revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In these pages, Campbell outlines the Hero’s Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world’s mythic traditions. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction.

As part of the Joseph Campbell Foundation’s Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, this third edition features expanded illustrations, a comprehensive bibliography, and more accessible sidebars.

As relevant today as when it was first published, The Hero with a Thousand Faces continues to find new audiences in fields ranging from religion and anthropology to literature and film studies. The book has also profoundly influenced creative artists—including authors, songwriters, game designers, and filmmakers—and continues to inspire all those interested in the inherent human need to tell stories.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781577315933
Publisher: New World Library
Publication date: 07/28/2008
Series: The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell Series
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 24,140
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Joseph Campbell was an American author and teacher best known for his work in the field of comparative mythology. He was born in New York City in 1904, and from early childhood he became interested in mythology. He loved to read books about American Indian cultures and frequently visited the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where he was fascinated by the museum’s collection of totem poles. Campbell was educated at Columbia University, where he specialized in medieval literature, and, after earning a master’s degree, continued his studies at universities in Paris and Munich. Throughout his life, he traveled extensively and wrote prolifically, authoring many books, including the four-volume series The Masks of God, Myths to Live By, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space, and A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake. Campbell died in 1987. In 1988, a series of television interviews with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth, introduced his views to millions of people.

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The Hero with a Thousand Faces 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
David_Bookbinder More than 1 year ago
Joseph Campbell's masterwork 'The Hero With a Thousand Faces' changed my understanding not only of literature and mythology, but also of story in general, both in media and in my own and other's lives. - David
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought it as a gift for someone. Came earlier than expected! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anadeau More than 1 year ago
I can easily say this is one of my favorite non-fiction books I've ever read. It is outrageously interesting and makes the reader truly question many of our fables, fairy tales, religious stories and in general our understanding of literature through different cultures. In "The Hero with a Thousand Faces", Joseph Campbell states that there is "the monomyth" which is a term he borrowed from Joyce Finnegan's "Wake". He defines the monomyth as the importance and/or presence of a myth in human culture, society and individual experience. It has the ability to transcend time, place, culture, gender and spiritual aspects. The universal theme of the book is that mythological events and beliefs occur in very similar ways in very different cultures, sometimes as far as half the world away. The monomyth he is referring to is what we like to think of as "the hero's journey". Campbell uses the archetypal story of the hero's journey to explore essential human truths. The hero's journey translates throughout cultures; Osiris was the Egyptian hero, Prometheus is the champion of mankind in Greek mythology, the Budda's story and relevance to Eastern culture and philosophy, and also probably the most recognizable one is Jesus Christ, and what he did for humanity. The hero's journey can be broken down into three parts, but is not limited to them. The first one is; A Call to Adventure. This is where the hero must begin his quest to serve a purpose beyond themselves. This is generally followed by; A Road of Trials. This is probably easiest to explain using the example of Jesus seeing as he was put through many trials and hardships but he fought through them. And finally is; the goal or the "boon". The boon is the prize at the end of the tunnel. The hero's journey can end here, although another important aspect is the applications of the boon after the hero returns home. Does the hero decide to keep it for themselves, or relay it to the people. Now this book is primarily a psychological study of cultural phenomenon, showing similarities between ancient eastern and western civilization's fabels and myths, and uses tools such as psychoanalysis to answer his ultimate question "Why is mythology everywhere and the same, beneath its varieties of costume?" This question really made me think. I liked almost all of the aspects of this book and in the years Ive been reading, Ive only come by a few books as interesting and thought inducing as this, also his word choice was glorious. I cant think of anything negative about this book, besides maybe the fact that it ended. Id give this book 5 out of 5 stars and Id highly recommend it to anybody who finds mythology, history, psychology, or philosophy interesting. Id recommend "Candide" by Voltaire and also anything by early Freud. In conclusion, read this book. Learn it, Love it, Live it.
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