The Romance of the Grail Now Available!

This is a forum to discuss specific questions, thoughts and issues raised in the books (paper and electronic) that are part of The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell.

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Post by David_Kudler »

Throughout his life, Joseph Campbell was deeply engaged in the study of the Grail Quests and Arthurian legends of the European Middle Ages. In Romance of the Grail: Magic and Mythology of Arthurian Myth, the newest volume of the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, editor Evans Lansing Smith collects Campbell's writings and lectures on Arthurian legends, including his never-before-published master's thesis on Arthurian myth, "A Study of the Dolorous Stroke." Campbell's writing captures the incredible stories of such figures as Merlin, Gawain, and Guinevere as well as the larger patterns and meanings revealed in these myths. Merlin's death and Arthur receiving Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, for example, are not just vibrant stories but also central to the mythologist's thinking.

The Arthurian myths opened the world of comparative mythology to Campbell, turning his attention to the Near and Far Eastern roots of myth. Calling the Arthurian romances the world's first "secular mythology," Campbell found metaphors in them for human stages of growth, development, and psychology. The myths exemplify the kind of love Campbell called amor, in which individuals become more fully themselves through connection. Campbell’s infectious delight in his discoveries makes this volume essential for anyone intrigued by the stories we tell—and the stories behind them.


Drawing from both published and personal audio recordings, transcribed lectures, notes, letters, published works, and more, Smith (chair, mythological studies, Pacifica Graduate Inst.; Sacred Mysteries) has assembled a significant body of Campbell's (1904–87) work on Arthurian legends, including his previously unpublished master’s thesis, "A Study of the Dolorous Stroke.” Topics include parallels between Arthurian and Eastern mythologies, the role of marriage vs. love, grail symbolism and the Grail King, influences of Christianity and pagan beliefs, a discussion of Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, Tristan and Iseult, Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, and more. As Smith suggests, this collection provides readers with insight into the effect of Arthurian literature on Campbell's work in comparative mythology, the idea that these stories are the original "secular mythology" or legends as metaphors for growth and of "Amor," a love that encourages individual identity. VERDICT Smith provides well-rounded and concise essential readings on Arthurian mythology by one of America’s leading mythologists and incredible storytellers. Highly recommended for readers interested in Campbell, mythology, or Arthurian studies.—Jennifer Harris, School Library Journal
David Kudler<br>Publications<br>Joseph Campbell Foundation<br>publications at jcf dot org

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Post by Roncooper »

I look forward to reading this book. I always enjoyed Campbell's discussions of the grail legend and romance. Is it an E-book?

I am having problems unzipping the books and lectures I downloaded. They won't unzip with windows. If you can tell me the name of the program used to zip the files I will look into it and report back to you.

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Post by Andreas »

Hey everyone...

Long timeee :)

I am not sure if you have solved your problem but I use a software called winrar. You can search at google, it is really easy to use. I think thats what everyone is using right now.
“To live is enough.” &#8213; Shunryu Suzuki

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Post by Pohlkamp »

I'm currently reading this next fascinating mythical exploration, but found a very strange reference on page 127, the opening of chapter 6 (The Knights of the Round Table), where 'Just to the west of Lourdes... a little place called Saint-Pé-d'Ardet...'
The place in that region is called Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre. The river that runs through it is the Gave de Pau.

The actual place does exist, but is located 69 km to the east, near and south of Saint-Gaudens. Just to the west of it is Lourde, a comparable small pastoral community.
A few kilometers to the west, on the other side of the river the Garonne, is the mentioned river l'Ourse (Ursa -> Bear)
Overlooking Saint-Pé-d'Ardet is located at 42º 59' 12.1" N - 0º 40' 6.2" E the Chapelle Sainte-Auraille. A small lake is found there some 400 meters to the north-east.

I have no access to the works of the discoverer Charles Musès, but the information provided can be helpfull for the pilgrim in search of this Artehe-stone.