The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) by Joseph Campbell is the book that awakened in writers and storytellers in publishing and in screenwriting to the larger scope of mythology as metaphor and to the underlining structure of stories.
”There was nothing to do about his father, and he had thought it all through many times. The handsome job the undertaker had done on his father’s face had not blurred in his mind and all the rest of it was quite clear, including the responsibilities.”
The collection starts with a bang with ”The Garden Party” (1922) by Katherine Mansfield and then tumbles its way through some well-known stories that are usually read in high school and college. There’s Hemingway’s ”The Three-Day Blow” (1925), E.M. Forster’s ”The Other Side of the Hedge” (1947), Henry James’s ”Brooksmith” (1892), Rudyard Kipling’s ”The Courting of Dinah Shadd” (1899) and Alexander Poushkin’s ”The Shot” (1894) translated by T. Keane.
“On the days of false spring it was very nice, after boxing and taking a shower, to walk along the streets smelling the spring in the air and stop at a cafe to sit and watch people and read the paper and drink vermouth; then go down to the hotel and have lunch with Catherine.”
One of the last sections is “The Functioning of Myth” and Campbell goes into great deal to extrapolate the introductory section. “The ends for which men strive in the world,” writes Campbell, “are three — no more, no less; namely: love and pleasure (kāma), power and success (artha: pronounced ‘art-ha’), and lawful order and moral virtue (dharma).”