Kelly's Reviews > The Power of Myth

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
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Jun 25, 07

bookshelves: owned, 20th-century-postwar-to-late, grand-opera
Recommended for: everyone- though you have to be a bit idealistic
Read in July, 2003

I really do think that this should be required reading in high school, everywhere. Or beyond. Just in general. I read it in preperation for my AP year, and it really helps you to open your eyes quite a bit. Does Joe Campbell like to stretch his points? Yes. Are some of his ideas and allusions a little far fetched? Absolutely. Will you roll your eyes a few times? Of course! Unless you are more starry eyed than even I was.

However. What he says on the subject of myth and our current culture is so true, and so insightful, that I think that everyone should pause to think about it. The changes in our cultural upbringing are so profound and Joe Campbell really helps to explain how and why that happened and what that does to your psyche, and spirit. Just as a brief example: What /do/ we do without that moment that tells us that we're an adult now, and it is time to take on the behavior of that part of our tale? We have our current generation of 30 somethings that still dress like teenagers, go to rock concerts, and still think that having 'commitment issues' is cool. Why do people spend so much time trying to 'find themselves' now? Partially due to the lack of a cohensive culture and unit that people can base off of. I would argue that his observations on the loss of myth and it's effects on a society are quite valid. The book is an interview, and his voice is so compelling. It's not hard to get behind a lot of his opinions. You want to. It's not necessarily a wholly bad or a wholly good thing, but it says so much about our culture. I guarantee you that this book will present you with several thoughts you might not have had, or thought in depth about before. Really, I think everyone should read this at least once.
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