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Mythic Image, The (O)

Product no.: 0-691-01839-1
A paperback edition of Campbell's major study of the mythology of the world's high civilizations over five millennia. It includes nearly 450 illustrations.

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Publisher's Synopsis
"Imagery, especially the imagery of dreams, is the basis of mythology." Joseph Campbell's words are at once the inspiration and explanation for this book - a searching of the mythology of the world's high civilizations over five millennia through nearly four hundred and fifty illustrations of mythic art from Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, European, and Olmec culture.

Starting with the relation of dreams to myth, Joseph Campbell distinguishes two orders of myth: that of the relatively simple, nonliterate folk traditions, and that of the infinitely more complex literate civilizations that culminated in the triad of the great world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. He traces the development of these immeasurably influential mythologies and, with text and pictures, demonstrates the important differences between Oriental and Occidental interpretations of dreams and life.

Reviews

"A stimulating, bewildering journey through time and space toward the concept of one universal experience. And no matter how short a way the intellectual traveler may journey on his first attempt, this is a trip well worth the effort."        ~Los Angeles Times

Excerpt
"The notion of this universe, its heavens, hells, and everything within it, as a great dream dreamed by a single being in which all the dream characters are dreaming too, has in India enchanted and shaped the entire civilization. The ultimate dreamer is Vishnu floating on the cosmic Milky Ocean, couched upon the coils of the abyssal serpent Ananta, the meaning of whose name is Unending. In the foreground stand the five Pandava brothers, heroes of the epic Mahabharata, with Draupadi, their wife: allegorically, she is the mind and they are the five senses.

They are those whom the dream is dreaming. Eyes open, ready and willing to fight, the youths address themselves to this world of light in which we stand regarding them, where objects appear to be distinct from each other, and an Aristotelian logic prevails, and A is not not-A. Behind them a dream-door has opened, however, to an inward, backward dimension where a vision emerges against darkness..."

Author Campbell, Joseph
Book Type Oversized Paperback
Page Count 564 pp.
Publisher Princeton University Press 1990
Series Bollingen Series C
Browse these categories as well: Mythology, Folk and Fairy Tales, Gods, Goddesses and Archetypes, Dream Psychology and Analysis, Primitive and Derivative Religions, Syncretism and the Perennial Philosophy

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