In 1927, as a twenty-three-year-old postgraduate scholar in Paris, Joseph Campbell first encountered James Joyce’s Ulysses. Known for being praised and for kicking up controversy (including an obscenity trial in the United States in 1920), the novel left Campbell both intrigued and confused, as it had many others. Because he was in Paris, he was able to visit the Shakespeare & Company bookstorethe outpost of the original publisher of Ulysses, Sylvia Beach. She gave him clues” for reading Ulysses, and that, Campbell attested, changed his career. For the next sixty years, Campbell moved through the labyrinths of Joyce’s creationswriting and lecturing on Joyce using depth psychology, comparative religion, anthropology, and art history as tools of analysis. Arranged by Joyce scholar Edmund L. Epstein, Mythic Worlds, Modern Words presents a wide range of Campbell’s writing and lectures on Joyce, which together form an illuminating running commentary on Joyce’s masterworks. Campbell’s visceral appreciation for all that was new in Joyce will delight the previously uninitiated, and perhaps intimidated, as well as longtime lovers of both Joyce and Campbell.
Joseph Campbell (19041987) wrote books, including The Power of Myth and Hero with a Thousand Faces that have sold well over five million copies. Edmund L. Epstein (19312012) founded and edited the first James Joyce journal, The James Joyce Review.