Creativity in Oriental Mythology (Audio: Lecture I.3.5)
When one looks at the glorious panorama of Indian art one sees a repetition of themes; beautiful themes, dependable themes, motifs that recur time and time again. And if you compare that galaxy of forms with their counterDisks in post renaissance Europe you’ll be struck by the absence of individual inflection in any of these works.
Joseph Campbell begins this exploration of the ways in which the concepts of Oriental mythology are traditionally rendered by observing that, in the Orient as elsewhere, all forms of creative expression can be ranged along a continuum at one extreme are representational forms, such as portrait painting or sculptures of Buddha, that have an iconographic function; at the other extreme, are more abstracted depictions, such as brush-stroke calligraphy, that seek to express man’s transcendental relationship to nature.
Running time: approx. 60 minutes