28 Following

Musings of a Book Addict

I'm married to a scavenger of sorts and he often totes home rescued boxes of books that I paw through with shiny, hungry eyes. I pull out the odd and interesting and add them to my teetering stack.

Currently reading

The Hound of the Baskervilles
Arthur Conan Doyle
E.B. White: A Biography
Scott Elledge
Murder on the Orient Express
Agatha Christie
There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate
Cheri Huber, June Shiver
Living Buddha, Living Christ
Thích Nhất Hạnh
No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger
Mark Twain
The Snare of the Hunter
Helen MacInnes
Paintings of Henry Miller
Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell
Dreamways of the Iroquois: Honoring the Secret Wishes of the Soul
Robert Moss
Pentimento (Back Bay Books)
Lillian Hellman

The Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimensions of Fairy Tales, Legends, and Symbols

The Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension - Joseph Campbell I am a huge fan of Joseph Campbell and while the majority of his books are very accessible and easy to read, this book is not one of those. I actually tried getting through this about 15 years ago and the language was far too dense and academic for me (and I am a student of anthropology!). I picked it up again this month to have another go, and while I was able to get through it this time, it took a lot of re-reading certain sections to really understand the points he was making. I checked in with some mythology scholar friends and both confirmed that Campbell wrote this particular book as a way to "legitimize" the study of mythology, so he had to take a much more academic approach in writing it. This book is not for the average person (and I'm shocked other reviewers say this is the first Campbell book to start with!). The first section, that discusses Grimm's Fairy Tales was also a bit distracting for me, because I have read Jack Zipes excellent introduction to The Complete Fairy Tales of Brothers Grimm Volume 1 where he points out that the Grimm Brothers did not, in fact, record the "true" fairy tales shared with them by the old German women they met. They in fact CHANGED the stories to add a Christian morality, so Campbell's theory (at least about the Grimm tales) is actually based on inaccuracies (although, Campbell had no way of knowing that, at the time). Still, all of this being said, this is an incredible book and the connections Campbell makes around the origins of both the stories of the Bible and other key, cultural myths is essential to our deeper understanding of our psychological culture as a whole.