Thanks for turning me on to Golden's book and Salyer's essay - i will track that down post-haste.On 2006-07-23 04:41, ShantiSong wrote:
I agree that Robert Segal is an outstanding critic, extremely intelligent and direct. Segal best exemplifies the critique from academia....<< >>SNIP<< >>...
There’s a book titled Uses of Comparative Mythology Edited by Kenneth L. Golden (1992)
The third essay is written by Robert A. Segal; a classic Campbell critique from academia. The fourth chapter and essay is by Gregory Salyer. It is an answer to Segal. And, for me, it is the - best – single - essay - I have ever read on Joseph Campbell’s work. For anyone concerned about the response from academia this essay must be read ...
And, frankly, every time i reference or re-read Joseph Campbell: An Introduction, i soften toward Robert Segal a bit. I'm much more favorably disposed toward him than i was when it first came out - not that i'm not still frustrated by some of his arguments, but i have a better sense of what he's trying to do (especially after having read some of his other work), which is introduce Campbell to academics already familiar with some of the specialized terms Segal employs.
However, the book was popularly marketed as an introduction to Campbell, so someone unfamiliar with his work might read Segal and think Joe was constantly bandying about terms like "dualism," "monism," "radical dualism," "radical monism," and "radical radical monism" - gee whiz!
As an academic, though, Segal is among the best - he clearly has a handle on his field.
Another mythologist at the university level i find i enjoy is William G. Doty (recently retired, i believe, as Professor of Humanities and Relgious Studies at the University of Alabama). Doty has published a large body of work - primarily several dozen essays published in journals and anthologies. I have his volume on the trickster, and recently persuaded him to autograph my copy of his comprehensive Mythography: The Study of Myths and Rituals (published in 2000, i couldn't find it for less than $60!).
Doty is no blind Campbell-phile - but neither does he ignore Campbell. He places Joe's work in context, as one of many brilliant theorists in the field. Doty doesn't seem to dismiss any mythologist, but points out how each approach successfully interprets/engages mythic material, given that approach's perspective. Instead of "either/or" contradictory positions, Doty seems to suggest these are overlapping views that often provide some contrast, but are also a function of where one happens to be standing at the time
(e.g., the Empire State Building looks very different from street level, versus from an office window inside, but it's still the same building).
I like that approach ...
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Bodhi_Bliss on 2006-07-29 13:45 ]</font>