Book Review – Primitive Mythology by Joseph Campbell


Primitive Mythology is the first volume of The Masks of God, a four volume work by Joseph Campbell. Campbell is well known for his other works in the field of mythology The Hero with a Thousand Faces and the PBS series The Power of Myth. He was the creator of the concept of the monomyth (one myth) — a word he borrowed from James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake — which essentially refers to a theory that all mythic stories are variations of a single great narrative, which is made evident by themes, tropes, and other elements common among numerous great myths around the world, regardless of place and time. While The Hero with a Thousand Faces — which I understand to be his most renowned written work — approaches this idea from the perspective of psychology, The Masks of God approaches it more through anthropology and history.Read More »