First Edition of Joseph Campbell's The Flight of the Wild Gander; Inscribed to fellow writer Richard Adams
The Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension.
Campbell, Joseph (Richard Adams).$2,000.00
Item Number: 94764
New York: The Viking Press, 1969.
First edition of Campbell’s first collection of essays. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Richard Adams on the occasion of our first meeting- with all good wishes Joseph Campbell 4/19/78. Best known as the author of Watership Down, English novelist Richard Adams was heavily influenced by American professor Joseph Campbell’s work in comparative mythology, specifically the concept of the monomyth, or journey of the archetypal hero that can be applied as a common template to a range of mythological narratives. Popularized in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell described the narrative pattern of the hero’s journey as follows: “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” He and other scholars described the narratives of Odysseus, Gautama Buddha, Moses, and Jesus Christ in terms of the monomyth. Adams’ Watership Down exhibits strong parallels to the epic themes of Homer’s Odyssey, following a group of anthropomorphised rabbits who encounter perils and temptations on their journey to establish a new home after their warren is destroyed. Bookplate of Richard Adams, near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Jules Maidoff.
In Flight of the Wild Gander, mythologist Joseph Campbell explores the individual and geographical origins of myth, outlining the full range of mythology from Grimm’s fairy tales to American Indian legends. Originally published in 1969, this collection describes the symbolic content of stories: how they are linked to human experience and how they — along with our experiences — have changed over time. Throughout, Campbell explores the function of mythology in everyday life and the forms it may take in the future. Included are some of Campbell’s first groundbreaking essays: “Bios and Mythos” and “Primitive Man as Metaphysician,” both of which examine the biological basis and necessity for story and mythology, and establish mythology as a basic function or fact of nature. Campbell’s essay “Mythogenesis” turns from the natural and biological to the cultural and historical — the rise, flowering, and decline of a particular myth, a single American Indian legend. Campbell explores how the myth was born, as well as the personal experiences of the visionary medicine man through whose memory the myth was preserved.