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League of Inveterate Poets

The out-of-context contextuality of a foolish sage

Love and Hate: Joseph Campbell’s Dramatic Divorce

By on June 29, 2010

love hate tattoo

“And there takes place, then, that dramatic divorce of the two principles of love and hate which the pages of history so beautifully illustrate. Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world. The laws of the City of God are applied only to his in-group (tribe, church, nation, class, or what not) while the fire of a perpetual holy war is hurled (with good conscience, and indeed a sense of pious service) against whatever uncircumcised, barbarian, heathen, “native,” or alien people happens to occupy the position of neighbor.”

– Joseph Campbell, in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, p. 156.

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The Hero with a Thousand Faces

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

This newly redesigned edition of Campbell”s seminal 1949 work combines the insights of modern psychology with the author”s revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. Illustrated.



  • I love that book. I read it some years ago and then bought a copy of the new edition put out by the Joseph Campbell Foundation.

  • That's the edition I'm reading. I've been wanting to read this for years. My LOST Retrospective posts inspired me to get to it, as Campbell's ideas were very influential to the LOST writers and creators.

  • I've actually not watched LOST…not once, which I think makes me a minority. Mindy and I wanted to wait to see if the fans liked how it ended without hopefully hearing the ending. So far so good. I'm probably going to get it from Netflix now that it is done. We've just watched so many shows that seem to get really good and then either tank or get canceled (usually the latter).

  • Many fans will tell you that there was a dry spell in the middle of the series (round about season 3). There were a lot of uncertainties for the producers at the time. The writers' strike was looming (and then hit). Also, they knew where they wanted the story to go, but they did not know how long they had to get there, or whether they might be canceled before they did. This led to some “stretching”; they couldn't advance the story arc too far.

    Many fans hate these “filler” episodes, but not me. The writing was still consistently good, and even though some of the story lines ended up not being that important in the overall story, they were still wonderful and intriguing little stories within themselves.

    In the end, it was all very worth it.

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