The Writing Life

Discussion of Joseph Campbell's work with an emphasis on the personal creative impulse as well as the sociological role of the artist in today's global community.

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ALOberhoulser
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Post by ALOberhoulser » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:09 pm

Though (Neil) Gaiman's work is frequently seen as exemplifying the monomyth structure laid out in Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces,[119] Gaiman says that he started reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces but refused to finish it: "I think I got about half way through The Hero with a Thousand Faces and found myself thinking if this is true – I don’t want to know. I really would rather not know this stuff. I’d rather do it because it’s true and because I accidentally wind up creating something that falls into this pattern than be told what the pattern is.
interesting - we were talking about Gaiman in another thread. I read American Gods and Good Omens - Great books, and AG is soon to be an HBO series.
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Post by Chrissurf » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:49 am

I can understand how Gaiman feels. The archetypes come out in the writing whether intentional or not, but Lucas went to Campbell and made a B movie into something more with the intentional use of myths.
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Post by JamesN. » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:56 pm

Hello everyone.

I've been admiring this great thread and thought I may mention someone who might be of interest not only because of his work and what it was about but what it was connected to. His name is Malcolm Cowley.

Joseph Campbell was in Paris during the time of some of the " Lost Generation " writers. Cowley was in the middle of this vortex and his memoirs such as " Exiles Return "; " A Second Flowering " - ( works and days of the lost generation writers ); are just two examples. His body of work is enormous and covers a huge and comprehensive spread over the vast landscape of American thought and literature. He was named " Chancellor of the American Academy of Arts and Letters " from 1966 to 1976. His work including his correspondence; his poetry; his books on American authors and his Portables on Hawthorne, Hemingway, Faulkner; his literary criticisms; and his editorship at the Viking Press where he literally launched the careers of people like John Cheever, Jack Kerourac and Ken Kessey was felt by many to have helped shape what might be called the American Canon. And last but not least of all he also wrote extensively on the craft of writing itself.

His work is obviously too large to cover here and my main reason for the description was to introduce who he was. The circles and orbits in which he revolved was like a parade of who's who of a period which I might call a Maverick Path. There is a thread that connects from Paris to Greenwich Village of the 1920's and on through to San Fransisco writer's of the 1960's and 70's through the Bohemian to the Beats to the Hipsters. These were writers who had things he thought worth saying in a time that needed these insights and the echos of their work are still being felt. He was a figure who could connect the dots so to speak from resurrecting William Faulkners career to helping get Jack Kerourac's " On The Road " and Ken Kessy's " One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest " published. For those who may be interested: " The Portable Malcolm Cowley " ( 1990 Viking Press ) is a great overview. His teaching sojourns at various universities and his books on the craft of writing are also covered as well.

I am no writer which I am sure is evident in many of my posts. :lol: My main reason for this suggestion though has to do with the writers insights and reactions to the fragmintation of modern life that are covered by the art, music, and literature of these periods which Campbell's work deals so much with as well. Perhaps some of this subject matter may be of interest to you fine folks.

" The Southern Mandarins " is another book of possible interest with the correspondence between writer Caroline Gordon to Sally Woods about the goings on during this period with Cowley making an occasional appearance and the struggle to get any writing done. ( All kinds of hilarious incidents played out against the backdrop of some of these circles of writers intersecting. )

At any rate with the length of this post going on way too long I hope this may be of some compliment to your pursuits here. 8) Cheers
Last edited by JamesN. on Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Nermin » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:48 am

JamesN. wrote: I am no writer which I am sure is evident in many of my posts. :lol: My main reason for this suggestion though has to do with the writers insights and reactions to the fragmintation of modern life that are covered by the art, music, and literature of these periods which Campbell's work deals so much with as well. Perhaps some of this subject matter may be of interest to you fine folks.
This should be a gentleman's way of telling how much he's involved in arts
and literature? :D
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Post by JamesN. » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:01 am

Dear Nermin,

Actually what I was referring to were the writers and artists of the periods referred to as the Lost Generation; Beat, and Hipster periods covering from just after World War 1 through approximately the next 60 years. ( Especially the Lost Generation period. ) The writers usually considered or associated as voices of those groups dealt alot with the subject matter of the fragmentation of modern life and it's effect on man's sense of wholeness; his sense of disconnection to society and other things of this nature. Joseph Campbell was influenced much by some of these people and a lot of his work related to these themes. ( James Joyce and T.S. Elliot for example; although not considered members of this group per say; had a great influence on this group and Campbell as well. ) Malcolm Cowley was right in the middle of this creative period and a kind of linking thread. And since writing is what he taught I thought it might be of interest.

What I was really doing was suggesting these people and their work as topics or subject matter for this thread. Although I probably was more accurate in my poor display of clarity than anthing else. :lol:

I have absolutely the highest regard and upmost respect for the craft of writing and consider myself more of a work in progress than anything else. There are many here who are much more articulate and whose insights and opinions I value greatly. Your thoughts are most kind and appreciated and I hope I have made a better attempt in clearing up any confusion. My very best.
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Post by Bhagavan Das » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:53 am

Religion is reason in metaphors. Age of Reason Enlightenment in its final stages is in sync with religion. Reducing and rationalizing perception to reason as a guiding light brings collective consciousness to path that religion was on all along. Therefore Enlightenment is reconfirmation of conclusions, spiritual laws, natural laws accumulated throughout ages in religious teachings. Religion is depiction of reality in itself and one can not pick and choose reality. Objective of art is ultimate absolute depiction of reality in symbols, naturally study of art leads to religion, and art itself is reconfirming religious depiction of reality.
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:17 pm

When I say that my writing is my big hope, I really mean it.

I do not have a particular interest in fiction. I read little of that. Though I read a lot of non-fiction, I am definitely NOT an academic or interested in writing tomes. I am opinionated and somewhat ambitious......or at least I claim to be ambitious. I express ideas that are easily snatched and turned into someone else's fame-and-fortune machine.

Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Campbell are right about the most popular stories (whether fiction or history or biography). The stories involve a life getting into trouble and ALWAYS getting out somehow, if only through the tender mercies of death and final endings that release the character/hero from suffering.

I've got a manuscript about my life. It is burning a hole in my brain, because most of it is really not about me at all. It's about how events unfolded, and the people and places around me. It's about how I responded and reacted to being tossed around like a rag doll.

Some things in our lives are great. Princess Di did get her shining prince....on paper, and then she tosses him aside for the next best thing. The Dalai Lama is at the tippy tippy top of the Buddhist line of succession, and the Pope wears fancy shoes.

Then, things go horribly wrong, and we hang on for dear life, long after our consciousness no longer makes its presence known.

I really am financially Way-Way Below poverty level, and I am not even close to being a famous celebrity. I'm a Never Was, and my popularity is almost entirely negated by the lack of entertainment or news value.

But Hope Springs Eternal, (as Meryl and Tommy Lee would be eager to say), and my family and friends now have a manuscript of my version of my life.

It's not like I am Rodney King or, heaven forbid, the White House pooch. I do not claim to be important or even interesting. There is some evidence of a spark in here, but no one thought it was worth noting, UNLESS IT MADE SOMEBODY LAUGH.....ha!

:lol:

Being poor and obscure for a girl is a well-known predicament. As Kurt instructs, if she happens to have a fairy godmother, who gives her a nice dress, shoes, mascara and reliable means of transportation, she is off to the .....shall I say it?......giggle, giggle.....the BALL!!!.....and the inevitable Infinite Happiness..... transcendant happiness, in fact.

Yes, if there is a fairy godmom.

Shucks.

Poor Cinderella. Poor Bearalita. Awwww.....

What do you do with the poverty stricken Harvard lawyer?
And exactly how much poverty is there in being as fat as a barnyard pig?
Or having access to the World Wide Web?

Excuse me, but she's not THAT poor, after all.
She has resources she doesn't even try to use.

She's an introvert, for Pete's sake!

Cindy, this is the nightmare of the INTJ (Myers-Briggs).

My myth story (not the autobiography I wrote) is all about how Joseph Campbell became my prince, my knight in shining armor, the priest, the baptizer, the father confessor and my chief cook and bottle washer. (My autobiography never mentions JC or myth!)

He's the fairy mythic godmom who is responsible for my Infinite Happiness.

He got me all dressed up, put me on a metaphorical pony, and whacked it's behind to send me galloping into the darkest part of the forest, where I could emerge with the Story of My Life and a handsome baby nervous breakdown.

I did not write it to be funny, but to others, I am hilarious!

A laughing stock.

I will try to finish my e-book. That's all. Then, I quit.

I will let family and friends know about it and let the e-book people (the vanity press) put the title on their invisible website that nobodies visits. It will be at Amazon and Barnes. Then, it will be forgotten UNLESS IT MAKES THEM LAUGH..... :lol:

Then, I will be a different person.

Ta Da.

Magic.

:!:
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:51 pm

Have you considered blogging, Carmela, or submitting pieces to online magazines?

Cindy
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:58 pm

Cindy B. wrote:Have you considered blogging, Carmela, or submitting pieces to online magazines?

Cindy
My new website will probably include a blog, and yes, I have tried blogging in the past. The problem is that I did not attract a good following, either in terms of numbers or quality of comments. I will try again now. We'll see what happens this time.

I do not want to get sidetracked on magazines, because my main goal is to sell the idea that I would make a good president, and wouldn't it be grand to design better, more effective government? If I can't do that, then I'll just keep writing blogs and ebooks.

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Post by Sand » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:35 am

Hi, Sand here. Writer/musician/lecturer. And new to this forum.

As a writer, I look to a character to reveal his/her strengths and flaws. I then seek to devise a story to put these opposing forces at play.

Now, my question. What are your favourite myths that test character flaws ?
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Post by ALOberhoulser » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:34 am

Goethe's Faust :twisted:

LOVE your www link, Carmela! 8)
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Post by Sand » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:06 am

Yes! Great. How about modern stories that have clear mythic character tests.
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Post by ALOberhoulser » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:26 am

This is the first time I've ever used the iPad -wow is all I can say! I think this may give a new spark to creativity :P
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Post by ALOberhoulser » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:32 am

Sand wrote:Yes! Great. How about modern stories that have clear mythic character tests.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Gods
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Post by JamesN. » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:56 pm

Bill Moyers is one of the few journalists these days that seems to devote any time to the attention of the importance of " Poetry ". Here is nice visit with the " muse " with writer Martin Espada: 8)

http://billmoyers.com/segment/martin-es ... nd-poetry/
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