The Power of Myth (and Fiction) c/o Joseph Campbell (and lyw)

The hero is always ready for whatever adventure (she) gets – even though (she) isn’t conscious of it or directly pursuing it …  Myth prepares us to understand the Mystery …  Myth prepares us to accept the adventure or not.  (Joseph Campbell)

Recently I explained to a friend why I thought the novel was the greatest goal of any writer.  The novel in its best form is the most intelligent and spiritual connection that one can get to another person’s mind and spirit.

Through fiction we are more likely to stumble upon the truth about our motives and desires than in any other kind of writing.  Playwrights and scriptwriters may argue with me but the visual side of our artistry must admit that the fictional world is something only the mind can make real, and thus the meaning and possibilities of something as simple and singular as a chair are enriched.

Words are very arrogant and always try to take ownership and define whatever it describes.  By taking ownership and defining a fictional story, and admittedly the unknown, we are more likely to liberate our words from this pride.

I referenced Joseph Campbell in this conversation because I almost always do when I talk about my love for fiction and the meaning of our modern mythology.  As well, he is an excellent example of a writer who I feel close to, because of the passion and dedication he put into his work, though I have never met him.  As far as I know, he never wrote fiction himself but his writing feasts on the works of great story and myth that spans our entire human existence.  The way he examines them and shares his understanding leads to an overwhelming profundity that suddenly becomes not about the stories of our culture but the ones we are living right now: that our present lives are stories unfolding just as heroically and inevitably as any of our greatest and smallest mythical and fictional heroes, from Luke Skywalker to Odysseus to Inanna.

A blog is no place to get too academic on you, so I will leave these thoughts open to your consideration.  I realize I just left open some very large statements.  🙂  And please do look up Joseph Campbell whose incredible body of work timelessly speaks to our sense of self.

When we think we are alone we find we are with everyone. (Joseph Campbell)


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