Life in the information age has its drawbacks, that's for sure. Although most of us would never want to go back to a time without our smartphones, internet, or just that glorious freedom of the ability to access anything that interests us. An incredible drawback to that is the overwhelming everyday exposure to information. Regardless of where we are or what is happening in the world, life as we know it is constantly on update...updating status, newsreels, Twitter feeds, or even just the overwhelming process of keeping up with what's new. Be it music, movies, books, blogs...yes anything, there is always something new coming. In this saturation of new media in whatever format, we get a bit lost. More importantly, however, we don't retain a lot of that information exposure. Few things out there, however great they may be, stand the test of time in that their message or importance stay with us over time.
The ones that do, the classics, have to be something special. It is our great pleasure this winter to present to you just one such item. Joseph Campbell, a literature professor at Sarah Lawrence, began publishing his writings on mythology in the 1950's. Each volume that he wrote jumped to the forefront of its class, garnering him much acclaim and prestige. In 1988, year after his death, PBS aired a six part mini-series featuring interviews between Campbell and Bill Moyers in which Campbell discusses the themes and mythos that prevail through all of his writings called The Power of Myth. This series took the world by storm, sharing the incredible and practical insights of Joseph Campbell as he compares present day cultural events and icons with mythology and religion.
What is astounding about Campbell's work is that is has proven its timelessness. Today, his work is still the authority on humanity and the roles that we each play. Sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, historians, and literary scholars alike still reference his work. The Power of Myth is still being shown around the world, its ideals and references still current and applicable.
Because this is such a timeless, classic series relevant to each and every one of you, I would like to invite you to come and watch The Power of Myth, in its entirety, or in part if that's all you can make it to, with us. The Library is hosting a three night event watching and discussing the ideas presented during the Bill Moyers / Joseph Campbell interviews. Please come, bring a friend or five, and join in.
Each night is guaranteed to be chocked full of ideas and thoughts that will stay with you. We look forward to seeing you there.
And just because it's worth saying, here's a favorite quote from Joseph Campbell:
"Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer."