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Otto Rank (1884–1939)

Forfatter af The Myth of the Birth of the Hero

37 Works 919 Members 7 Reviews 3 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Considered to be one of the most gifted psychotherapists of his time, Otto Rank investigated matters "beyond psychology" and became known for his energy, intellectual curiosity, and self-awareness. Born in Vienna, Rank had a very deprived childhood. Despite troubled feelings and suicidal thoughts vis mere during his adolescence, he read a great deal and became interested in the psychology of creativity. He first formulated his theories about art and neuroses in the series of remarkable daybooks (1903--1904). In 1912 he helped to found Imago, the first European journal of psychoanalysis. In the years of his association with Sigmund Freud from 1905 to 1925, he served as secretary to the psychoanalytic movement, and it was generally assumed that Freud regarded him as his successor. Rank, however, eventually came to see the roots of all psychoneuroses in the experience of birth. This theory he described in The Trauma of Birth (1924). Such differences caused his break with Freud in the middle 1920s, after which he lived in Paris and then New York. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre

Værker af Otto Rank

The Myth of the Birth of the Hero (1909) 209 eksemplarer
Beyond Psychology (1941) 115 eksemplarer
The Trauma of Birth (1924) 67 eksemplarer
The Double (1925) 63 eksemplarer
Truth and Reality (1929) 51 eksemplarer
A Psychology of Difference (1996) 20 eksemplarer
The Don Juan Legend (1975) 16 eksemplarer
Will Therapy (1931) 16 eksemplarer
Will Therapy & Truth and Reality (1945) 15 eksemplarer
The Don Juan Legend & The Double (1973) 14 eksemplarer

Satte nøgleord på

Almen Viden

Kanonisk navn
Rank, Otto
Juridisk navn
Rosenfeld, Otto
Land (til kort)
Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire



Two classic works on the legend of the hero are included in this book. This important anthology includes pieces by Lord Raglan and Otto Rank. Alan Dundes provides an additional commentary to complete the compilation.
jwhenderson | 3 andre anmeldelser | Apr 18, 2024 |
A very difficult book to get through but nonetheless an important one to read.
MSarki | 1 anden anmeldelse | Jan 24, 2015 |
And here I thought cultural one-upsmanship was dead.

This book starts from a significant and valuable observation: That a great many tales of heroes have a great deal in common. For example, most heroes are brought up by someone other than their parents -- a fact that is true of everyone from Moses to Oedipus to Cyrus the Great to (in more recent tales, which were not known to the authors of this book) Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter. This point has been made by many scholars, most notably Joseph Campbell, and is freely accepted by all three contributors to this book; it need not be questioned.

What these three essays (especially the first two, by Rank and Lord Raglan) attempt to do is to study why folktales have this common element. This is a much better question.

It's too bad it gets such lousy answers.

Otto Rank tries to explain it in Freudian terms. In essence, he says that the Oedipus tale is as it is because we all have Oedipus complexes. As for where the rest of the details come from -- that's because we're all a bunch of paranoids.

For starters, of course, Freud's hypotheses are absurd. But it seems to me that Rank isn't even applying them correctly. Rags-to-riches stories don't appeal to us because we're paranoid; they appeal to us because we want to succeed!

Lord Raglan isn't as badly deceived by incompetent psychologists, but he has his nose so high in the air, it's a wonder he finds anything up there to breathe. He looks down on the primitive myths, completely failing to understand their purpose and treating them as pure fiction -- and bad fiction, and then denying that primitive peoples even have the brains to invent such things! I can't claim to know much about psychology, but I know folklore, and Raglan just doesn't get it. Often the best work in fact comes from the illiterates, the hunter-gatherers, the primitives -- what else do they have to do at night except tell stories?

To give one specific example of Raglan's complete wrong-headedness, on pp. 146-147, he attempts to place Robin Hood in the "hero" mold, giving the outlaw 13 of a possible 22 points. But six (arguably eight) of those alleged 13 points are either not explicit in the earliest references to Robin, or are the hack work of later broadside-writers. The Robin Hood of the folk both predates Raglan's version and is folkier -- but less like a hero.

The final essay, by Alan Dundes, is much better; at least it brings real insight into the myths themselves -- and covers a topic which many have feared to address. But it can't wipe out the bad taste left by the others. In one sense, Rank is surely right: hero tales around the world are alike because they strike some deep inner chord in all of us. But the reason they do so is not because we are sick, or neo-primitive, or suffer some sort of religious mania. It's because the hero tales exalt values which make for better, stronger, more stable societies. Heroes are heroes because they make us better, not because they make us inferior.
… (mere)
waltzmn | 3 andre anmeldelser | Mar 29, 2014 |

The new born hero is the young sun rising from the waters, first confronted by lowering clouds, but finally triumphing over all obstacles. (page 4) [Brodbeck, Zoroaster, Leipzig, 1893, p. 138]

“Sargon, the mighty king, King of Agade, am I. My mother was a vestal, my father I knew not, while my father’s brother dwelt in the mountains.” (page 12)
8982874 | 3 andre anmeldelser | Aug 4, 2013 |


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