In Flight of the Wild Gander, renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell—in his first collection of essays, written between 1944 and 1968—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.
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About Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was a prolific writer, dedicated editor, beloved teacher, inspiring lecturer, gifted storyteller, avid scholar, and a foremost interpreter of myth. Among the many books he wrote and edited, he is best known for The Hero with a Thousand Faces, his four-volume The Masks of God, and his magnum opus, Historical Atlas of World Mythology. In 1988, a series of television interviews with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth, introduced his views to millions of people.
About James Anderson Foster
James Anderson Foster, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, has narrated audiobooks for a variety of publishers, across nearly all genres, both fiction and nonfiction. In 2015, he was a finalist in three categories for the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences Voice Arts Awards—mystery, science fiction, and fantasy.