Viewing entries tagged with 'book reviews'

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces was the most interesting non-fiction book that I have read in a long time – if not in all time. I can understand that it is often described as one of the most influential works of the 20th century. The book was first published in 1949. Campbell (1904 - 1987), a scholar who spent his life studying mythology of different cultures, reveals in this book of comparative mythology what he calls the monomyth. This, in blunt terms, is a common pattern or structure of all myths and stories regardless of their cultural background, based on what Jung would call the collective unconscious.

A big part of the book attends to the Hero's Journey, the said common story structure, i.e. the call to adventure, the refusal of the call, initiation, thresholds, the road of trials, the return, and a lot more that may happen in one form or another during the hero's adventure.

But this is not merely a book about structure, it is a book about the transformation of the hero, the role of mythology as a vehicle to understand life and to create value for self and society, the task of gods as icons to "transport the mind and spirit, not up to, but past them, into the yonder void" (p. 180); it is about the often underestimated or even ignored power of the unconsciousness, and how all of this can serve us today not as in opposition to modern life and science but as a precious and often forgotten enrichment to everyday life.

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I decided to add a books section to So far it´s just plain and simple. To be precise: it´s so simple that you´ll only find one book there at the moment. »The Comic Toolbox« by John Vorhaus (thanks Tim for this excellent tip). This section will only grow slowly because I want to offer a bit more information than just the titles.

I wonder if my menue does not become a bit too complex or, more to the point: "unreadable". The menue typo really wouldn´t win the first price (of any contest ever), but somehow it´s kind of unique. I know it´s not a question of vital importance these days but if you like just let me know if this one works or if the thing in the upper left of this page is just a graphic display error to you.

Wie ich eines schönen Morgens im April das 100%ige Mädchen sah

Would there be a book having this title, wouldn´t you like to read it? I would. The author is Haruki Murakami and the book contains 9 short stories, beautiful like the title story, easygoing like "Familiensache", surreal like "TV-people" and horrible like "Das grüne Monster". Another short story collection to recommend is "Der Elefant verschwindet"

A very nice cover version of Chris Isaac´s "Wicked Game" by Pipilotti Rist which I was searching for for a long time can be found on audiogalaxy at last.

Unrasiert und fern der Heimat

I´m back from Norway. It was a great holiday there. More about it in a few days when I got the photos. Just one thing: do you know this edition of "The Lord of the rings"? We found it in a store in Starvanger, Norway, it´s the most fantastic book that I own now. It is the original english text, it has a big format, a pleasant letter size and 50 illustrations by Alan Lee which fit perfectly to this "fantasy bible". It´s absolutely worth the prize.

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