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Le Héros Aux Mille Et Un Visages

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  16,401 ratings  ·  935 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, Francais, 410 pages
Published 2010 by Oxus (first published 1949)
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Daniel Campbell is pretty thorough in explaining every myth he uses as evidence. Knowing some mythology will help contextualize his arguments, and give you…moreCampbell is pretty thorough in explaining every myth he uses as evidence. Knowing some mythology will help contextualize his arguments, and give you some room to apply his framework to myths you already know, but I think the book is readable regardless. (less)
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We studied the Myth Cycle at Uni and I was interested enough to come back to this book years later and read the whole thing. It is well worth a read – an endlessly fascinating book by a fascinating man.

The idea is that there is basically only one story, the grand story of our lives, the monomyth. This story is told in millions of different ways, but ultimately every story ever told is either just a retelling of this grand story, or it is a re-telling of certain aspects of this more complete sto

Full circle, from the tomb of the womb to the womb of the tomb, we come: an ambiguous, enigmatical incursion into a world of solid matter that is soon to melt from us, like the substance of a dream. And, looking back at what had promised to be our own unique, unpredictable, and dangerous adventure, all we find in the end is such a series of standard metamorphoses as men and women have undergone in every quarter of the world, in all recorded centuries, and under every odd disguise of civilizatio
Mar 30, 2008 Bracken rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: intellectual masochists
Shelves: book-club-books
I was very excited to read this work because of its potential to teach me a great deal about mythology, but found that it was a total piece of tripe. I felt like Campbell was trying too hard to prove his knowledge, which was apparent in the great diversity of myths referenced in the work, but he failed to logically plan the layout of the text. I can understand the overall layout of the text, but it didn't work on the chapter/section scale. It was so disorganized that I often felt like a member o ...more

Myths are essential to our lives because they reveal what is culturally important to us and they flourish via story telling—from the oral tradition of yore to the modern bits & gigabytes, one generation passes on its stories to the next & thusly our Collective Unconscious thrives.
Joseph Campbell's stated aim was to "uncover some of the truths disguised for us under the figures of religion and mythology by bringing together a multitude of not-too-difficult examples and letting the ancient
I first read this book when I was 19. It saved both my step-father's ass and my soul.

I have always been a fan of mythology and folklore, and Joseph Campbell pulls tales from many cultures to show how mankind has virtually the same heroic journey tucked away in its subconscious regardless of culture or even time. He also explains the importance of myths, which is something lots of people can't grasp because they can't get over the fact the stories aren't real. Myths were never meant to be facts a
Ned Rifle
Joseph Campbell has done a lot of good work in this book and others. Unfortunately the good of the work was research. His theories themselves (not so much the pattern-spotting as his rather shallow interpretation of the material, which is basically glorified self-help) are very easy to ignore. Read him to steal his stories and then regale your friends with them, much embellished, if need be; the beauty of these stories is that they speak directly. Also get as many of the books he references as y ...more
Wow. This book blows my mind every time I pick it up. It has taken me years to heed the advice of friends and family and read the thing (don’t wait as long as I did), but I’ve finished with a renewed sense of what it means to be an artist/writer/human and a perceived momentum I’ve found nowhere else. There is energy, wisdom and strength in the connections Campbell draws.

I’ve also placed myself firmly in the Campbell camp of dissecting story structure (suck it Robert Mckee, or better yet eat all
Nandakishore Varma
Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by the similarities between Hindu myths and Greek myths. Then during my early twenties, I discovered Campbell and said to myself: "Voila! Somebody has noticed it before me!" Ever since then, I've been a Campbell fan.

The structure of the monomyth is so prevalent in many hero cycles, fairy tales, children's stories and popular films so it's a wonder how anybody can miss it. Campbell does an exhaustive job of digging through various mythologies of th
Moses Kilolo
Every one who believes in destiny, in dreams, and in the universality of human experience and their particular stories should, at least once in their lifetime, read this book.
Page 156 “And there takes place, then, that dramatic divorce of the two principles of love and hate which the pages of history so beautifully illustrate. Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world. The laws of the City of God are applied only to his in-group (tribe, church, nation, class, or what not) while the fire of a perpetual holy war is hurled (with good conscience, and indeed a sense of pious service) against whatever uncircumcised, barbarian, heathen, “native,” ...more
While being the first book to explore the interconnections between cultures across the globe through mythology, Campbell's use of Freudian psychology does not do his thesis much credit. He also appears to be taking some of the "myths" that I am familiar with a little out of context so that they fit as proof to some of his points. While the thoughts contained within this book are interesting and provoke a good conversation about the interconnections of all human cultures, the foundation with whic ...more
A Book with a capital "B."

First of all, I feel inadequate and unworthy to review this book, but since I have been given the chance, all I can say is that this is one of the greatest Books (with a capital "B") of my experience. I suspect that it shall be recognised as one of the single greatest products to come out of 20th century American letters.

No, I'm not setting Campbell up as a prophet or anything like that, indeed, I suspect that this book's greatness lies in the eternal truths that trans
Brad McKenna
This book joins Atlas Shrugged as the only books I've ever had to put down.

I love mythology. The myths are not only grand examples of storytelling, but they also shed light on their civilizations' way of thinking. From the doomed-to-die Norse Gods to the plagiarist Romans simply renaming Greek Gods, the mythologies across the globe are fascinating on many levels. So a book that traces the similarities between all mythological cannons sounds like a stroke of genius. Too bad Freud's psychoanalyti
Printable Tire
I enjoyed this book... mostly. I have a few qualms with it, however.
-I found Campbell's attempts to relate myth archetypes to the psychoanalytic interpretation of dreams to be outdated and more than a bit of a stretch. Dreams more often than not do not include characters like the Snake or the River; more often than not, dreams are silly and pointless. This aspect of dreams is never considered.
-Campbell's constant digs at Christianity and Western religion in general were appropriate, I suppose, b
This text is one of those often-quoted, seldom read old classics. It irks many, inspires some, and baffles most. I found myself irked, inspired and baffled on nearly every page. Still, I’m very glad I finally read it—-Campbell’s ideas have re-animated my reading and thinking. Problematic, definitely, but also illuminating.

The irksome and baffling bits first: Campbell cherrypicks what myths to include in his analysis. He chooses his evidence to create a really elegant Copernican universe, with hi
Nicholas Whyte

I have to say that I was rather disappointed by this classic work on mythology. On the plus side, it is indeed fascinating to put myths from very different points in time and space beside each other to note the similarities; Campbell is consistent and clinical in subjecting the Bible to the same scrutiny as any other culture; and for myself, I learned a thing or two about Cuchulain, not just a local hero and contributor to Ulster geography but in fact an e
The image of man within is not to be confounded with the garments. We think of ourselves as Americans, children of the twentieth century, occidentals, civilized Christians. We are virtuous or sinful. Yet such designations do not tell what it is to be man, they denote only the accidents of geography, birth-date, and income. What is the core of us? What is the basic character of our being?

The asceticism of the medieval saints and of the yogis of India, the Hellenistic mystery initiations, the an
Sep 19, 2011 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to be literate
Recommended to Laura by: Prof. Tallerico
This book blew my mind when I read it as a teenager. Reread it about 10 years. and not all of it has aged well, (got a lot of gender essentialism that made me roll my eyes) but it's still absolutely worth the time. Not only worth the time in itself, it's also fascinating seeing the impact its had on the way we tell stories, and to catch a glimpse of the story of the hero we keep telling. For better or for worse. So many movies and books are almost scene for scene patterned on it; everything from ...more
Nerine Dorman
Most of the authors with whom I work end up with me telling them they should read this book. Granted, the last time I read Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces had been when I was in my late teens, so I figured now was a good a time as any to reacquaint myself with his work.

At the heart of all myths and legends, if I were to summarise Campbell’s book, lies one story, otherwise know as the Monomyth. In its most popular form, you’ll see it in episodes IV to VI of Star Wars – George Luc
Campbell began life as a James Joyce scholar, and his book on Joyce is absolutely required reading. I have read the Hero with a Thousand faces, at least the first few chapters, on a number of different occasions. Inevitably, I lost interest as we began to move up into godhead, chapters entitled 'Apotheosis,' 'the Ultimate Boon.' THey're my Moby Dick whaling paraphernalia chapters. But this time I'm trying to stay with it all the way through.

My difficulty with it is that as a writer, as a reader
Isadora Wagner
This book remains one of my favorite go-to sources for the arc of the hero in myth and life. I recently reread parts of Chapter I (Departure: The Crossing of the First Threshold; Belly of the Whale) and Chapter III (The Return: The Refusal of the Return; Rescue from Without; Crossing of the Return Threshold) to goad myself out of my present lethargy in Middle of Wisconsin, USA, both off the page and on. Despite the fact that Neil Gaiman refused to read this book after p. 50 because he found it r ...more
This is an important book that I will hold onto and attempt to reread in the future when I may have more knowledge under my belt regarding history, philosophy, and mythology. I think that solid knowledge in these areas is important as an anchor of understanding when reading a book with such broad scope or transcendental type thinking. As much as I respect Joseph Campbell, he did not effectively anchor together the information and present it in a way that will stick with me. I felt like I was see ...more
Hardly the last word on stories and how they shape our lives, but a brilliant place to start.

Analyzes collective world mythologies, and boils them down into their component parts and recreating the story of our own lives - the monomyth. Incredibly interesting stuff.
David Melbie
Mar 29, 2013 David Melbie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: heroes, seekers
Recommended to David by: Bill Moyers
The best! Ask George Lucas!
This marks my third reading of this work, and I am quite sure that I absorbed the text much better this time around that I did on the other two readings.

This edition (2004) also has a new introduction by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., author of Women Who Run With Wolves, in which she concludes:

"Reader, turn the page now. Joseph Campbell is waiting for you, and as usual, the professor is in full mythic voice. . . . (p xv). --From A Reader's Jour
Amey Nadkarni
I picked up this book after finding its mention on almost all the "recommended lists" for writers and film makers. Eager and excited as i began reading the book, i found it difficult to put it down...
But unlike most other books on my shelf here, i could not put it down not because it was so interesting but because i just could not get through it and every time i kept it down it took me a good 5 page re-reading to connect the link!!!!

Blame it on- my inability, the writers complexity or simply the
Daniel Toker
This book is simply genius. Not only was the content brilliant, but the writing was gorgeous. It's a non-fiction book, but some parts read like poetry.

Campbell masterfully integrates the study of myth with psychoanalysis, history, literature, and his own philosophy. In this book, he discusses the commonalities between myths, folktales, and religions to create a basic "formula" known as the Hero's Journey. His endeavor was grand, but he met the challenge brilliantly.

This is one of the best books
Everyone has probably heard of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, but most people misunderstand it and I doubt many people have actually read his writing except in summary. After reading this book, I can understand why; the man was brilliant, but he was an academic and this book was written for academics, even if George Lucas's being famously inspired by it (and the popular PBS miniseries) has propelled it somewhat into pop consciousness. His prose is dense and full of psychobabble. Okay, that's ...more
I'll go so far as to say The Hero with a Thousand Faces is essential reading for anyone who's interested in storytelling. Campbell posits that all mythologies boil down to what he calls the monomyth:

"A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man."

He goes on to delve into each part of thi
Nikolay Ivankov
"A Hero with a Thousand Faces" is one of the books which I'm happy to have read in my life. The book came to me when I was a grad student, and it has fascinated me that much that I gave a talk on the subject on the philosophy seminar in the university, threatening an example of one particular myth, which is quite popular nowadays.

Some people criticize the book for a seeming scattering of the mythological stories, and claim that it would've been better if the theory was applied to a single myth a
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mythology 21 81 Jan 17, 2015 07:22AM  
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Joseph John Campbell was an American mythology professor, writer, and orator best known for his work in the fields of comparative mythology and comparative religion.
More about Joseph Campbell...
The Power of Myth Myths to Live By Primitive Mythology (The Masks of God, #1) The Hero's Adventure: Power of Myth 1 Oriental Mythology (The Masks of God, #2)

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