Daily Dojo

Rapping On Writing - Campbell

Brief post today on Rapping on Writing, since the strike is over and there’s much to be done.

So let’s chat briefly about Campbell, shall we? And no, jackass sitting in the back row, we’re not gonna talk about Glenn Campbell, the country singer (and one of the stars of TRUE GRIT) . . . we’re going to talk briefly about writer and philosopher Joseph Campbell.

In an internet conversation with my good buddy Mystery Man on Film I stumbled across a realization of something I wanted to share with y’all.

Joseph Campbell was and still is a huge influence upon American film writing, in particular his book THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES, which if you study screenwriting you’re bound to read at some point, among others. When writers speak of “The Hero’s Journey” they’re alluding to Campbell.

STAR WARS was all Campbell theory and philosophy, basically.

Rather than go into what that is, in depth, (Vogler’s book THE WRITER’S JOURNEY is a “translation” of THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES into easy-to-understand chunks for budding screenwriters, so you can read that) I just thought I’d note something of import, which is thus:

Screenwriting gurus and others all speak of Campbell’s work and always seem to assume that Campbell studied human consciousness in order to tell US SOMETHING ABOUT STORY-TELLING AND MYTHS.

That’s not entirely correct. Actually . . .

It was the other way around . . . Campbell studied myths and stories to TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS.

It’s a small distinction, but when you think on it, a very important one.

After all, excellence is measured in inches if not millimeters.

Thus endeth Rapping On Writing Wednesday.

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