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The Epic Hero


If you're searching for the definitive compendium about all aspects of epic heroism, this is the one book to buy. The author quotes famous as well as lesser-known epic stories, drawing mainly from Norse, Welsh, French, Balkanian and Persian sources among others, profoundly analyzing and interpreting the cultural specialities of their protagonists as well as their striking similarities, sometimes pronouncing obscure and even humorous aspects and episodes. The book is academical and down-to-earth with a lot of footnotes and cross-references, don't expect an esoterical, over-simplifying Campbellian take on the subject matter. Thankfully, Miller keeps a certain ironic distance which results in a more entertaining read than I expected. For writers, especially in the movie business, "The Epic Hero" can be a real treasure, a source of immense inspiration - not from the structural point of view, but regarding the many details, themes and characters Dean A. Miller puts on display here in his great effort. I consider it the perfect companion (though not a surrogate due to its different scholaric approach) to Christopher Vogler's "The Writer's Journey" of which it sometimes appears to be an accidental yet very valuable continuation.

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Tags: literary, studies, psychology, anthropology, including