Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, was born on this day in 1904.
Although he published the book in 1949, his interest in mythology, particularly Native American mythology, was sparked by a visit as a kid to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Madison Square Garden.
It’s from his work that the concept of the Hero’s Journey derives, something Campbell describes as
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.
Yes, it sounds like Tolkien, but I love it as a reality check for writing fiction, and one of the few writing books I like is Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey.
Here are a few more quotes from Campbell I thought you’d enjoy. To my very great amusement, when I followed the link to Campbell quotes, the first thing I read was:
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.
Love is a friendship set to music.
I’m off fairly soon to the New England Romance Writers Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference, where I’m doing a workshop on servants, signing, hanging out with other writers, and shutting myself away to write.
Pam Rosenthal, who was nominated for a Rita (go Pam!) for The Edge of Impropriety, is having a contest–the prize, a copy of my August 2009 release A Most Lamentable Comedy. Go read an excerpt and enter now!
What are you up to? Reading, writing, nominated for a Golden Heart or Rita? Tell us!