This Book is Longer than Necessary (Hero with a Thousand Faces)

Author: Matthew I. Wanner

We're back, with more The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Last week we looked at The Call to Adventure and The Herald, who being this call. This week we'll be looking at The Refusal, and it doesn't take long for Joseph Campbell to get back to Freud and, in this case, "the castration complex". I was enjoying myself for the whole page before we got to endure Freud again.

The problem with this entire section of the book is that it is almost entirely Campbell slobbing his own knob. Dreams make a comeback, because of course they did. It wouldn't be Campbell without some dream interpretation nonsense and somebody wanting to bone their mother.

If I come off as crass today, it's because I'm in a lot of pain. Also, I'm tired of these forays into areas that serve very little purpose.

Campbell has once again lost the plot. He spends a great deal of time talking about the myth of Apollo and Daphne, and how his pursuit, and her refusal, ends with her turning into a tree. He talks a great deal about refusals, and what comes after the refusal. To him, nothing good comes after refusing The Call to Adventure and things, at best, remain average and unexceptional.

Everything of value in this section is at the bottom of the first page. The refusal, and we're going back to Minos here, but I promise it actually makes sense. So, if you remember from a few weeks ago, there was talk about how when Minos refused to sacrifice the bull sent by Poseidon he refused to make himself subservient to the society as a whole and put himself above the society (Campbell says he put himself in place of the god). Minos' refusal is mirrored in the usual way the Hero's Journey plays out. The Hero is Called to Adventure, and when the Hero refuses, they are putting their life and their goals over the adventure, which is usually a call to a greater good. To pull on examples from last week, Bilbo was called to help the Dwarves reclaim their kingdom (and they ended up being dicks about it, but that's neither here nor there). In John Dies at the End, they are called to fight extra-dimensional invaders, the fact that this is caged in weirdness really only emphasizes how important their Adventure was. If I remember correctly, in Neverwhere, it's the fate of London Below that's at risk. I have to apologize for Neverwhere, but I haven't read it in a long time and I am heavily medicated, which is really just a good reason to read it again.

I wish I could tell you the rest of the subchapter adds to that, but it doesn't. I'm pretty sure this book is about 75% longer than it has to be.

I'm ending this early because I'm annoyed. I'm going to try to start doing more than just one subchapter in the future. On Monday I did a lot of walking in bad weather and pushed myself too hard, hurting my bad knee and leaving me exhausted, still, on Wednesday. I slept all day Tuesday. I'm also on a medication with a heavy sedative effect (Seroquel), so I am really out of it.

I'll have another blog up later this week where I talk about the military and writing about it.

Until then, have a good one, I'm going to bed.

comments powered by Disqus