Joseph Campbell's collected writings on dance and art, edited and introduced by Nancy Allison, CMA, the founder of Jean Erdman Dance, and including Campbell's unpublished manuscript "Mythology and Form in the Performing and Visual Arts," the book he was working on when he died.
Dance was one of mythologist Joseph Campbell's wide-ranging passions. His wife, Jean Erdman, was a leading figure in modern dance who worked with Martha Graham and had Merce Cunningham in her first company. When Campbell retired from teaching in 1972, he and Erdman formed the Theater of the Open Eye, where for nearly fifteen years they presented a wide array of dance and theater productions, lectures, and performance pieces.
The Ecstasy of Being brings together seven of Campbell's previously uncollected articles on dance, along with "Mythology and Form in the Performing and Visual Arts," the treatise that he was working on when he died, published here for the first time.
In this new collection Campbell explores the rise of modern art and dance in the twentieth century; delves into the work and philosophy of Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and others; and, as always, probes the idea of art as "the funnel through which spirit is poured into life." This book offers the reader an accessible, yet profound and provocative, insight into Campbell's lifelong fascination with the relationship of myth to aesthetic form and human psychology.
About the Author
Joseph Campbell was an American author and teacher best known for his work in the field of comparative mythology. He was born in New York City in 1904, and from early childhood loved to read about American Indians and frequently visited the American Museum of Natural History, where he became captivated by the museum's collection of totem poles. From those days onward, Campbell's interest in mythology grew and deepened. He was educated at Columbia University, where he specialized in medieval literature, and, after earning a master's degree, continued his studies at universities in Paris and Munich. Throughout his life, he traveled extensively and wrote prolifically, authoring many books, including the classic The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the four-volume series The Masks of God, Myths to Live By, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space, and The Historical Atlas of World Mythology. Campbell died in 1987. In 1988, a series of television interviews, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, introduced his views to millions of people.