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The Creative Myth and The Cosmic Hero

Text and Context in Ernest Becker's "The Denial of Death</I>

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Ronald V. Evans

Becker's hypothesis about psychic and spiritual unity within the Rankian idea of a hero provides the framework for this book. By extending Rank's and Becker's conceptions of heroism from a developmental process involving a «World Hero Child,» through a Monomythic narrative sequence (Campbell, 1968), and on into the literary texts of American fiction, this book illustrates Becker's wisdom. At the same time, it explores the implications that remain undeveloped in Becker's The Denial of Death, implications about gender, about modern technocratic life and about popular culture as blocks to heroism. The result is a synthesis of mythic-textual-psychoanalytical theory into a belief system that is perpetuated by resonant readings.