In Quest of the Hero

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 1990 M11 21 - 223 pages

In Quest of the Hero makes available for a new generation of readers two key works on hero myths: Otto Rank's Myth of the Birth of the Hero and the central section of Lord Raglan's The 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. In The Hero the noted English ethnologist Raglan singles out the myth-ritualist pattern in James Frazer's many-sided Golden Bough and 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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User Review  - waltzmn - LibraryThing

And here I thought cultural one-upsmanship was dead. This book starts from a significant and valuable observation: That a great many tales of heroes have a great deal in common. For example, most ... Read full review

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User Review  - SKR - LibraryThing

Three seminal essays from the past century concerning patterns and motifs of archetypal heroic emergence and actions, focusing on Greek and British-Celtic examples. Includes discussions of Freudian ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
3
The Circle of Myths
13
The Interpretation of the Myths
57
THE HERO A STUDY IN TRADITION MYTH AND DRAMA PART II
87
The Genesis of the Myth
89
The FolkTale
99
Myth and Ritual
109
Myth and Ritual Continued
116
The Tale of Troy
125
The Hero
137
The Hero Continued0
148
The HERO CONTINUED
157
Myth and the Historic Hero
165
THE HERO PATTERN AND THE LIFE OF JESUS
177
The Hero Pattern and the Life of Jesus
179
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About the author (1990)

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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