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Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:17 am
by Chris OConnor
Prologue: The Monomyth
The Hero with a Thousand Faces - by Joseph Campbell

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:04 am
by Saffron
Reading over the Prologue reminds me of The Reduced Shakespeare Company's Completely Hollywood. They start the show with a discussion identifying the main archetypal catagories that all films/story plot lines all into. If I remember right there were 6 -- at the moment I can only remember 4.

1. Coming of Age
2. Boy gets girl (or Girl gets boy)
3. Road Trip
4. Jesus story

I will have to ask my daughter for the rest.

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:48 pm
by Saffron
Of course Silence of the Lambs needed a little adjustment - Boy eats girl.

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:36 pm
by oblivion
Saffron wrote:Of course Silence of the Lambs needed a little adjustment - Boy eats girl.
:P :D

Saffron, I'm highly embarassed! I haven't even received my copy of the book and here you are posting already (good girl, keep it up)!!! If all goes well, my copy should arrive in 4 days.

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:24 pm
by Saffron
oblivion wrote:
Saffron wrote:Of course Silence of the Lambs needed a little adjustment - Boy eats girl.
:P :D

Saffron, I'm highly embarassed! I haven't even received my copy of the book and here you are posting already (good girl, keep it up)!!! If all goes well, my copy should arrive in 4 days.
Don't be embarassed, I have an advantage: I've already read this book. I've pulled mine back off the shelf in order to join in.

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:07 pm
by giselle
I've ordered the book but it will be a couple weeks .. so I will join then ...

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:21 am
by geo
I haven't actually started reading yet, but I do have a copy in hand. Who else is participating? DWill?

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:03 pm
by Suzanne
I'll be getting my copy within the next few days. Looking forward to the discussion.

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:05 pm
by oblivion
Fabulous! We're getting a nice little discussion group together here!

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:27 pm
by DWill
geo wrote:I haven't actually started reading yet, but I do have a copy in hand. Who else is participating? DWill?
No, I'm on hiatus--trying, anyway. I might need to avoid the forum to keep from getting drawn in. It's sure to be interesting.

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:04 pm
by geo
DWill wrote:
geo wrote:I haven't actually started reading yet, but I do have a copy in hand. Who else is participating? DWill?
No, I'm on hiatus--trying, anyway. I might need to avoid the forum to keep from getting drawn in. It's sure to be interesting.
You can go on hiatus when you're dead, damn you!

(I say, selfishly) :mrgreen:

Here's the link in case you change your mind:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/157731 ... 1577315936

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:06 pm
by Saffron
geo wrote:
DWill wrote:
geo wrote:I haven't actually started reading yet, but I do have a copy in hand. Who else is participating? DWill?
No, I'm on hiatus--trying, anyway. I might need to avoid the forum to keep from getting drawn in. It's sure to be interesting.
You can go on hiatus when you're dead, damn you!

(I say, selfishly) :mrgreen:
That goes double for me, damn you!

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:30 am
by oblivion
A lot of selfishness going on around here, eh? Dwill, you could at the very least buy a copy and tuck it under your pillow at night ;)

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:17 am
by oblivion
I received my copy, so here goes:

I don't know what copies you all have, but mine sports a Blake etching on the cover. How appropriate!

For those who are not familiar with C G Jung, (and Campbell draws on him heavily; he was a student of his):
Jung was a Swiss psychoanalyst best known for his dream analysis. But that was only the tip of the iceberg. Jung's concept of archetypes is what will mainly be of relevance to us here. Jung and his students observed their patients and their dreams and came to the conclusion that certain traces of cultures and peoples were present with whom these patients had had no contact whatsoever. Jung proposed the idea that religious and cultural concepts, irregardless of time or place, all bear strong similarities, and the images, motives, etc repeat themselves. In other words, these images or symbols are always present and have not been influenced by culture. For Jung, of course, this new idea was important for the treatment of psychosis and neurosis. Campbell uses it as a tool and carries it into the dimension of mythology.

Re: Prologue: The Monomyth

Posted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:22 am
by oblivion
I just found a wonderful little introductory synopsis of "Hero" on http://www.skepticfiles.org/atheist2/hero.htm

In the long run, the most influential book of the 20th Century may
turn out to be Joseph Campbell's THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES.

It's certainly true that the book is having a major impact on
writing and story-telling, but above all on movie-making. Aware or
not, filmmakers like John Boorman, George Miller, Steven Spielberg,
George Lucas, and Francis Coppola owe their successes to the ageless
pattern that Joseph Campbell identifies in the book.

The ideas in the book are an excellent set of analytical tools.

With them you can compose a story to meet any situation, a story
that will be dramatic, entertaining, and psychologically true.

With them you can always determine what's wrong with a story that's
floundering, and you can find a better solution to almost any story
problem by examining the pattern laid out in the book.

There's nothing new in the book. The ideas in it are older than the
Pyramids, older than Stonehenge, older than the earliest cave
painting.

Campbell's contribution was to gather the ideas together, recognize
them, articulate them, name them. He exposed the pattern for the
first time, the pattern that lies behind every story ever told.

Campbell is a mythographer -- he writes about myths. What he
discovered in his study of world myths is that THEY ARE ALL
BASICALLY THE SAME STORY -- retold endlessly in infinite variation.

He discovered that all story-telling, consciously or not, follows
the ancient patterns of myth, and that all stories, from the crudest
jokes to the highest flights of literature, can be understood in
terms of the "HERO MYTH"; the "MONOMYTH" whose principles he lays
out in the book.

Campbell was a student of the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, and the
ideas in THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES are often described as
Jungian.

The book is based on Jung's idea of the "Archetypes" constantly
repeating characters who occur in the dreams of all people and the
myths of all cultures.

Jung believed that these archetypes are reflections of the human
mind -- that our minds divide themselves into these characters to
play out the drama of our lives.

The repeating characters of the hero myth, such as the young hero,
the wise old man, the shape-shifting woman, and the shadowy nemesis,
are identical with the archetypes of the human mind, as shown in
dreams. That's why myths, and stories constructed on the
mythological model, are always psychologically true.

Such stories are true models of the workings of the human mind, true
maps of the psyche. They are psychologically valid and realistic
even when they portray fantastic, impossible, unreal events.

This accounts for the universal power of such stories. Stories
built on the model of THE HERO OF A THOUSAND FACES have an appeal
that can be felt by everyone, because they spring from a universal
source in the collective unconscious, and because they reflect
universal concerns. They deal with universal questions like "Why was
I born?" "What happens when I die?" "How can I overcome my life
problems and be happy?"

The ideas in the book can be applied to understanding any human
problem. They are a great key to life as well as being a major tool
for dealing more effectively with a mass audience.

Christ, Hitler, Mohammed, and Buddha all understood the principles
in the book and applied them to influence millions.

If you want to understand the ideas behind the HERO MYTH, there's no
substitute for actually reading the book. It's an experience that
has a way of changing people. It's also a good idea to read a lot
of myths, but it amounts to the same thing since Campbell spends
most of the book illustrating his point by re-telling old myths.