Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto:  Message ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Goto Page: Previous12All
Current Page: 2 of 2
Re: SUPER THREAD: ED opinions of Joseph Campbell
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 24 September, 2020 10:31AM
That would be my reading of it anyhow - I think he was onto something, but whereas a lot of myths (ie, myths about heroes) would share one or more features of his list, I doubt if they ever had all the features he describes. So it's anthropological value is nil. But I actually think these are pretty effective narrative devices - e.g. how often (in a western, say) does the hero refuse to get involved, only to reluctantly take his holster down off the wall?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 24 Sep 20 | 10:34AM by Cathbad.

Re: SUPER THREAD: ED opinions of Joseph Campbell
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 24 September, 2020 11:21AM
Cathbad Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That would be my reading of it anyhow - I think he
> was onto something, but whereas a lot of myths
> (ie, myths about heroes) would share one or more
> features of his list, I doubt if they ever had all
> the features he describes. So it's anthropological
> value is nil. But I actually think these are
> pretty effective narrative devices - e.g. how
> often (in a western, say) does the hero refuse to
> get involved, only to reluctantly take his holster
> down off the wall?

But even if accurate, who cares?

To me, when I first heard him enunciate his ideas, I had a moment of of confusion: didn't that man just tell me something that pretty much everyone already knows? That popular myths fall into identifiable patterns, and seem to follow a sort of template or templates?

To sit there and tells us that on TV, and await applause for it, apparently, seemed so filled with chutzpah that for a while I thought that there *must* be more to it than that.

But in my opinion, there really isn't. The very best construct that I could come up with that supported his implication that this observation was in any way important was that if one chose to view these commonalities as a consequence of a common shared origin, it then further implies an Atlantis-like super culture that was mother of all current civilization. But since there are no independent material artifacts that support this, we have only his simple observation that myths tend to address the same themes, and his tacit implication that this somehow supports a vast and monolithic cultural unity.

That's the *best* I could do.

But to me, one might also view the observation that myths from around the world are similar in theme as an indication that the themes dealt with--survival, procreation, ascent to dominance--are simply behaviorial traits common to the species, and of roughly the same urgency.

I'm saying that if apes had myths--and who knows but that they don't?--they'd also fit Campbell's templates.

In short, Campbell's view, as I see it, is that commonality of mythic themes/structures is linear evolution, while the alternative that I described is a case of parallel evolution.

I guess bluntly stated, Campbell seems to me like a guy who, on seeing a dolphin, a shark, and an artist's rendering of an ichthyosaur, concludes that they all descended from a single common aquatic ancestor.

But it's *Campbell* here we're talking about, so he doesn't just simply draw that conclusion, but smugly announces it to the world...

Maybe I have this wrong: who knows?

BTW, Cathbad, I originally made reference to Mr. Natural, comparing Campbell to him; it was so dead-center that I couldn't resist making the comparison, as a sort of all-inclusive shorthand. Later it dawned on me that maybe many might not be familiar with Mr. Natural, a cynical, manipulative cartoon guru of the 60s.

[en.wikipedia.org]

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: SUPER THREAD: ED opinions of Joseph Campbell
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 24 September, 2020 11:57AM
I wasn't familiar with Mr Natural! (I meant to check up the reference). I guess I know now, huh?

It sounds like a lot of people on this site saw and heard Campbell and found him kind of annoying and this may be a factor in their dislike of him. I never did, which is maybe why I don't see him as a complete charlatan - although I do think the importance of the monomyth has been exagerrated.

Re: SUPER THREAD: ED opinions of Joseph Campbell
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 24 September, 2020 12:41PM
Cathbad Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wasn't familiar with Mr Natural! (I meant to
> check up the reference). I guess I know now, huh?
>
>
> It sounds like a lot of people on this site saw
> and heard Campbell and found him kind of annoying
> and this may be a factor in their dislike of him.
> I never did, which is maybe why I don't see him as
> a complete charlatan - although I do think the
> importance of the monomyth has been exagerrated.


All my stuff is purely my opinion, and I have no claim to any objective truth here.
So I could be entirely wrong.

You are correct, too, in your observation that I nearly instantly disliked, or at least mistrusted, him and it indeed must affect my opinions.

And yet all that stuff about claiming credit for what amounts to commonly perceived tendencies that are themselves of little independent significance without added evidence, and also misperceiving (or mischaracterizing) the likely cause (widespread similarities are a result of common and widely experienced situations, and not a dispersed remnant of a single unifying culture) seems independently demonstrable.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: SUPER THREAD: ED opinions of Joseph Campbell
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 30 September, 2020 12:49PM
Very late to the discussion, so I have little else to add, but I'd like to mention that Campbell is not only responsible for simplifying the nature of myths and legends, but also the essays of C. G. Jung. Now keep in mind that I'm no follower of Jung; I think he also simplifies mythology, and transforms psychology into a bunch of hoodoo, but I find him more creative and complex by comparison, and in an eccentric way more sincere to himself. I'd even call him a first-rate pioneer of weird ideas. I guess I can appreciate Jung in a similar way that I appreciate Blavatsky, as creators of fantastic systems that can stir the imagination without exactly enlightening it, except perhaps indirectly. With that said, Campbell used to impress me when I was in high school, and set me on the road to my artistic endeavors, but my own studies and explorations have expanded my understanding beyond the commercialized monomyth. It surprises me how many films and books are not only influenced by it but dedicated to it! Now you'll see hundreds of people parroting Campbell (or rather brief third-party summaries of Campbell), a dilution of a dilution of a dilution of Jung!



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 30 Sep 20 | 12:54PM by Hespire.

Goto Page: Previous12All
Current Page: 2 of 2


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
Top of Page