Reading this amazing book by Joseph Campbell, the classic, The Hero with a Thousand Faces and the first sentence just about blew me away. Not only is it extremely beautiful, it’s also incredibly long! It’s 538 characters:
“Whether we listen with aloof amusement to the dreamlike mumbo jumbo of some red-eyed witch doctor of the Congo, or read with cultivated rapture thin translations from the sonnets of the mystic Lao-tse; now and again crack the hard nutshell of an argument of Aquinas, or catch suddenly the shining meaning of a bizarre Eskimo fairy tale: it will be always the one, shapeshifting yet marvelously constant story that we find, together with a challengingly persistent suggestion of more remaining to be experienced than will ever be known or told.”
The book is difficult to read in some ways, because its academic and full of details, but it truly is the one book by Campbell that is a must-read. The information about myth is presented as part art-history, part anthropology and there are plenty of images and excerpts from famous manuscripts, from ancient to modern times. If you are at all interested in Myth and the way that it shapes our present, then you will enjoy this book.