Thursday, August 25, 2011

Holding out for a hero?

I started reading Joseph Campbell's 'The hero with a thousand faces' yesterday. Stunning and insightful. Campbell explores the archetype of the hero through dreams, through cultures, religious rituals, and all the symbols of the hero he can find. Have you ever come across books that you absolutely knew were just perfect for you at the time. Amazingly, I have had some experiences like that. The right book at the right time; it comes rarely, but it's a wonderful feeling when it does. There are some interesting heroes out in the world of literature, films, and even in the real world. One heroic character that has stuck with me to this day is Prince Lyr, from 'The Last Unicorn'. He and the other characters engage in deconstruction of the hero in one part of the story. He considered himself something of a failed hero before the Unicorn.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, from the larger-than-life of King David and Indiana Jones to the doomed-yet-triumphant Sydney Carton. What is it about the hero that is so alluring? Every story needs at least one hero to keep it going. Can someone write a story without having even one hero? Maybe, but not a very engaging story.
Meanwhile, I started back to work today. Very quiet in the library, and it will likely be quiet in the library for while to come, as the kids don't come back until after Labour Day. The weekend is close at hand. I hope to get some more books read. That's all for now. A shorter than usual entry, but I really don't have much to say besides what I have said.

No comments: