Selected letters capturing ongoing conversations between famed mythologist Joseph Campbell and a remarkable group of artists, seekers, filmmakers, novelists, and scholars
This brand-new collection of letters features illuminating conversations between Joseph Campbell and a fascinating cast of correspondents, ranging from friends and cowriters to renegade scholars and fellow visionaries. Including letters from both Campbell and his correspondents, and spanning the course of his entire adult life (1927–1987), the collection demonstrates the lasting influence of Campbell’s work, which inspired creative endeavors and radical shifts in so many people’s lives. Included are exchanges with artists such as Angela Gregory and Gary Snyder; colleagues including Alan Watts, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, and Maud Oakes; editors of his books, from The Hero with a Thousand Faces to The Mythic Image; and many others who engaged with Campbell in his exploration of humanity’s “one great story.”
In selecting the letters, editors Evans Lansing Smith and Dennis Patrick Slattery discovered that the dynamic exchanges formed themselves into what Smith describes as a “narrative, with multiple voices and points of view, dramatic conflict and resolution, character development, and even mystery.” In the end, they found “a portrait not just of Campbell but of a remarkable generation of artists, dancers, filmmakers, musicians, spiritual seekers, poets, and novelists, all engaged in the creative powers unleashed by mythology.” With crucial historical context provided by the editors, this compelling volume provides vital new insight into Campbell’s personal life and mythological vision.