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March 26, 1904
October 30, 1987
Professor of literature
March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987
Joseph John Campbell was an American writer. He was a professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College who worked in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work covers many aspects of the human experience. Campbell's best-known work is his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), in which he discusses his theory of the journey of the archetypal hero shared by world mythologies, termed the monomyth.
Based on Jungian theory and his own study of world mythologies, Campbell developed his theory of the monomyth, the ultimate narrative archetype, a singular story upon which all narratives are based. The Monomyth, commonly referred to as "The Hero's Journey," examines the stages of the hero who goes on an adventure, faces a crisis and wins, then returns victorious.
The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), The Masks of God (1959–68), Historical Atlas of World Mythology (1983–87), The Power of Myth (1988)
Since the publication of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell's theories have been applied by a wide variety of modern writers and artists. His philosophy has been summarized by his own often repeated phrase: "Follow your bliss." He gained recognition in Hollywood when George Lucas credited Campbell's work as influencing his Star Wars saga. Campbell's approach to folklore topics such as myth and his influence on popular culture has been the subject of criticism, including from folklorists.
“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
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