Monday, September 04, 2017

Charles's favorite scholar

Here, for Charles's delectation, is a whole episode of Crash Course exploring the ideas of comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell:

One thing I noted, while watching this video, was Mike Rugnetta's strong emphasis on the notion of universals, which is a refreshingly anti-PoMo stance to take. Postmodernism is famously anti-universalistic, shunning so-called "totalizing metanarratives" that are aimed at describing large swaths of humanity by noting certain broad principles of thought and behavior. It's not obvious from the video whether Rugnetta himself buys into the Campbellian monomyth (there are, in fact, moments where Rugnetta is at pains to note certain scholarly disagreements with Campbell), but he at least sees it as a useful jumping-off point from which to think about heroic narratives. Good for him.

(If you missed CC's videos on tricksters, look here, here, and here.)