The Power of Myth


Should be playing D&D instead
From the Wikipedia page

Says self-proclaimed folklore expert Alan Dundes. Irony, apparently, lost on the speaker.


It would take a whole lot more than peer-rivalry protests in the squishy subject of folklore to convince me Campbell was completely off base. As we now know from the internet, everyone has an opinion---including "experts".
I dunno about others, but my first instinct when I read that was to click on the link to see if Alan Dundes could back that up with examples. (It didn't work; the link is just a reference to a book I don't have, so for now I just have the subject mentally flagged as controversial/unknown.)

My rule of thumb: when nobody disagrees with the experts, assume they're right (until proven otherwise). Otherwise, listen to both sides and then decide who has a stronger argument.

This is the only way to distinguish true ideas from popular-but-false ideas.

It was fairly clear from the Wiki blurb that he was getting "cancelled". This is not how serious academics address concerns, just the loudmouths. Primate politics at work again.

... The anti-Campbell sentiments in the Wiki article reeked of that non-sense.
I felt that parts of the Wikipedia entry reeked of grievance mongering, but setting that aside, other parts spoke to methodological concerns. As others here have said, the question is whether folklore really has the universal patterns Campbell claims it does. Seems like that should be something that can be proved or disproved from the data. Any ranting about Campbell's background or qualifications can only be AT BEST a justification for double-checking whether the patterns actually exist.

Again, I don't know, but my gut is skeptical. Humans are good at cherry-picking data to fit preconcieved patterns.
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8, 8, I forget what is for
I nice post on Delta's blog about the hero's journey the importance of having a fairly mundane settling as your baseline for the world.

One way I tamped down the fantastic down in my home campaign was that the capitol city had an existing ban on elves and magic-users which meant some of the party had to enter it covertly/disguised. When, in our last game over the break, they manage to right things enough to get that ban lifted by the new king---it was a major victory (only took 10 years).

While seemly harsh, it actually resulted in a lot of interesting conspiratory play where the party would slowly hook up with other clandestine operatives and reveal their true nature once they trusted them. Trying to keep secrets is fun (and sometimes funny).