Throughout his life, Joseph Campbell was deeply engaged in the study of the Grail Quests and Arthurian legends of the European Middle Ages. In this new volume of the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, editor Evans Lansing Smith collects Campbellâs writings and lectures on Arthurian legends, including his never-before-published masterâs thesis on Arthurian myth, ÂA Study of the Dolorous Stroke.â Campbellâs writing captures the incredible stories of such figures as Merlin, Gawain, and Guinevere as well as the larger patterns and meanings revealed in these myths. Merlinâs death and Arthur receiving Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, for example, are not just vibrant stories but also central to the mythologistâs thinking.
The Arthurian myths opened the world of comparative mythology to Campbell, turning his attention to the Near and Far Eastern roots of myth. Calling the Arthurian romances the worldâs first Âsecular mythology,â Campbell found metaphors in them for human stages of growth, development, and psychology. The myths exemplify the kind of love Campbell called amor, in which individuals become more fully themselves through connection. Campbellâs infectious delight in his discoveries makes this volume essential for anyone intrigued by the stories we tellÂand the stories behind them.
About: The first collection of Joseph Campbellâs writings and lectures on the Arthurian romances of the Middle Ages, a central focus of his celebrated scholarship, edited and introduced by Arthurian scholar Evans Lansing Smith, PhD, the chair of Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute.
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