Romance of the Grail

Romance of the Grail : The Magic and Mystery of Arthurian Myth

4.13 (79 ratings by Goodreads)
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The first collection of Joseph Campbell's writings and lectures on the Arthurian romances of the Middle Ages, a central focus of his celebrated scholarship, edited and introduced by Arthurian scholar Evans Lansing Smith, PhD, the chair of Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Throughout his life, Joseph Campbell was deeply engaged in the study of the Grail Quests and Arthurian legends of the European Middle Ages. In this new volume of the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, editor Evans Lansing Smith collects Campbell's writings and lectures on Arthurian legends, including his never-before-published master's thesis on Arthurian myth, "A Study of the Dolorous Stroke." Campbell's writing captures the incredible stories of such figures as Merlin, Gawain, and Guinevere as well as the larger patterns and meanings revealed in these myths. Merlin's death and Arthur receiving Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, for example, are not just vibrant stories but also central to the mythologist's thinking. The Arthurian myths opened the world of comparative mythology to Campbell, turning his attention to the Near and Far Eastern roots of myth. Calling the Arthurian romances the world's first "secular mythology," Campbell found metaphors in them for human stages of growth, development, and psychology. The myths exemplify the kind of love Campbell called amor, in which individuals become more fully themselves through connection. Campbell's infectious delight in his discoveries makes this volume essential for anyone intrigued by the stories we tell--and the stories behind them.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 22.86mm | 476.27g
  • Novato, CA, United States
  • English
  • black and white illustrations throughout
  • 1608683249
  • 9781608683246
  • 180,432

About Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) is widely credited with bringing mythology to a mass audience through his books Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth. Evans Lansing Smith is the chair of mythological studies at the Pacifica Graduate Institute. He lives in Santa Barbara, CA.
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Review quote

Drawing from both published and personal audio recordings, transcribed lectures, notes, letters, published works, and more, Smith (chair, mythological studies, Pacifica Graduate Inst.; Sacred Mysteries) has assembled a significant body of Campbell s (190487) work on Arthurian legends, including his previously unpublished master s thesis, A Study of the Dolorous Stroke. Topics include parallels between Arthurian and Eastern mythologies, the role of marriage vs. love, grail symbolism and the Grail King, influences of Christianity and pagan beliefs, a discussion of Wolfram von Eschenbach s Parzival, Tristan and Iseult, Arthur s Knights of the Round Table, and more. As Smith suggests, this collection provides readers with insight into the effect of Arthurian literature on Campbell s work in comparative mythology, the idea that these stories are the original secular mythology or legends as metaphors for growth and of Amor, a love that encourages individual identity. VERDICT Smith provides well-rounded and concise essential readings on Arthurian mythology by one of America s leading mythologists and incredible storytellers. Highly recommended for readers interested in Campbell, mythology, or Arthurian studies.
Library Journal
Praise for Joseph Campbell:
No one in our centurynot Freud, not Thomas Mann, not Levi-Strausshas so brought the mythical sense of the world and its eternal figures back into our everyday consciousness.
James Hillman
Campbell has become the rarest of intellectuals in American life: a serious thinker who has been embraced by the popular culture.
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79 ratings
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