Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Currently Reading...

One of the (urban?) legends surrounding Star Wars is that George Lucas got the idea of the story after reading this book. True or not, I find it entirely possible.

Campbell's book, originally published in 1949, still makes sense today. In Hero with a Thousand Faces Joseph Campbell travels through dozens of myths and tales, from around the world, to trace back the similarities in the hero's quest. Campbell was strongly influenced by Carl Jung, especially on the significance of dreams and the existence of archetypes. He proceeds to show that there is indeed a thread of commonality in the images and actions of people's heros, regardless of culture, language, or religion, and how the characters surrounding our heros are a representation of ordinary life, whether external, or internal.

Once I started reading Hero, I could relate almost every scene in Star Wars to the stages Campbell describes. It's almost uncanny. It also explains why the movie was such a blockbuster: it taps into our innermost instincts.

A fascinating read, and a must for any writer.

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