Tragedy is the shattering of forms and of our attachment to them; comedy the wild and careless, inexhaustible joy of life invincible [together] they constitute the totality of the revelation that is life, and which the individual must know and love if he is to be purged of the contagion of sin and death.
Tragedy is the shattering of forms and of our attachment to them
-- Joseph Campbell
Hero with a Thousand Faces, The (p. 21)
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This seminal work has influenced millions of readers since it was originally published in 1949, bringing the insights of modern psychology together with Campbell's revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell formulated the dual schemas of the Hero's Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through all of humanity's mythic traditions, and of the Cosmogonic Cycle, the stories of world-creation and -dissolution that have marked cultures around the world and across the centuries. Translated into over twenty languages, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has sold well over a million copies and continues to find new audiences among professors and students in fields ranging from the history of religion and anthropology to literature and film studies; among creative artists including authors, filmmakers, game designers and song writers; and among all of those interested in the basic human impulse to tell stories.