In Quest of the Hero

ISBN-10: 0691020620

ISBN-13: 9780691020624

Edition: 1991

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Description: In Quest of the Heromakes available for a new generation of readers two key works on hero myths: Otto Rank'sMyth of the Birth of the Heroand the central section of Lord Raglan'sThe Hero. Amplifying these is Alan Dundes's fascinating contemporary inquiry, "The Hero Pattern and the Life of Jesus." Examined here are the patterns found in the lore surrounding historical or legendary figures like Gilgamesh, Moses, David, Oedipus, Odysseus, Perseus, Heracles, Aeneas, Romulus, Siegfried, Lohengrin, Arthur, and Buddha. Rank's monograph remains the classic application of Freudian theory to hero myths. InThe Herothe noted English ethnologist Raglan singles out the myth-ritualist pattern in James Frazer's many-sidedGolden Boughand applies that pattern to hero myths. Dundes, the eminent folklorist at the University of California at Berkeley, applies the theories of Rank, Raglan, and others to the case of Jesus. In his introduction to this selection from Rank, Raglan, and Dundes, Robert Segal, author of the major study of Joseph Campbell, charts the history of theorizing about hero myths and compares the approaches of Rank, Raglan, Dundes, and Campbell.

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Book details

List price: $32.95
Copyright year: 1991
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 11/21/1990
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.012
Language: English

Considered to be one of the most gifted psychotherapists of his time, Otto Rank investigated matters "beyond psychology" and became known for his energy, intellectual curiosity, and self-awareness. Born in Vienna, Rank had a very deprived childhood. Despite troubled feelings and suicidal thoughts during his adolescence, he read a great deal and became interested in the psychology of creativity. He first formulated his theories about art and neuroses in the series of remarkable daybooks (1903--1904). In 1912 he helped to found Imago, the first European journal of psychoanalysis. In the years of his association with Sigmund Freud from 1905 to 1925, he served as secretary to the psychoanalytic movement, and it was generally assumed that Freud regarded him as his successor. Rank, however, eventually came to see the roots of all psychoneuroses in the experience of birth. This theory he described in The Trauma of Birth (1924). Such differences caused his break with Freud in the middle 1920s, after which he lived in Paris and then New York.

Anthropologist and folklorist Alan Dundes was born in 1934 in New York City. He received his BA in English in 1955 and his MAT in English in 1958, both from Yale University. He received his Ph.D in Folklore from Indiana University in 1962 and in 1963 he joined the teaching staff at the University of California, Berkley. He wrote over 250 journal articles and12 books and co-wrote more than 20 other books. In 1993, he became the first American to win the Pitre Prize's Sigillo d'Oro, which is an international life-time achievement award in folklore and ethnography. He died of a heart attack on March 30, 2004 at the age of 70.

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