I was hoping this would blow over, I thought that smilies were supposed to prevent this sort of thing, but here it is . . . a clarification on what I thought I was doing with my throwaway line on Joseph Campbell. Let me start by saying that my comment on Campbell was intended as a throw- away (hence the smilie). I seem to have really struck a lot of nerves so let me clarify. First, it is pretty clearly documented that Campbell himself was an antisemite. References? I was going to look in the _Readers Guide_ and get some for all who need them, but, frankly, if its that important to you, you can look them up yourself. I think there are pieces in both _The New York Review of Books_ and _The Nation_ from the last couple years. Fiona O. asks whether it matters if Campbell was antisemitic or not? I actually think this is an open question, and one that is being debated much elsewhere regarding the work of everyone from Ezra Pound to Paul de Man. To be honest, I'm not really sure whether being an antisemite or any other form of racist should disqualify you from serious consideration (I am unsure, I might add, despite being Jewish). It does, however, seem sort of irrelevant to me that he is dead. If being a racist _is_ to be considered a form of intellectual disqualification, death should not absolve you. Secondly, "pseudo-Jungian mythobabble" . . . well, well, well. I seem to remember that there was a serious point behind this particular charge, and I will try to reconstruct it, although in future I would ask for somewhat less charged and careful readings of sentences that are followed by smilies. What I was trying to get at, and what another person on the list has since posted (I'm sorry, I don't remember who) is that I am _highly_ suspicious of the universal claims of Campbell's arguments about man and his myths (and I intend the gendering there, I think it is rife in what I know of Campbell). Is this Jung? Of course not, hence the pseudo. Do I know either Jung or Campbell's work well? No. I have read but a little Jung (this was in no way supposed to be a comment on him . . . I apologize for getting him involved in the first place). I have only seen the Moyer's interviews with Campbell. To be honest, Campbell's intellectual style in those interviews so turned me off, that I had little desire to read any of his writings. My mind set, and frankly my experience, makes me very wary of universal mythic patterns. No, Fiona, I don't think you're "uncool"; I just don't agree with you. As for the charge of "icon envy" . . . please give me a little more credit than that. I don't expect anyone out there to have heard of me. I am a graduate student in American History who has published nothing. However, just because someone is a famous figure, does not mean that his or her work deserves respect. I suspect that most people have heard of Otto Spengler, but that fact does not demand that we take him seriously. In fact, much of intellectual work consists of criticizing those more famous than you. It would be very difficult to contribute to any intellectual debate if anyone whose name was better known or who had a wider reputation was seen as off-limits to criticism. I am not a big fan of Joseph Campbell. I have not read enough of his work to launch a serious, intellectual criticism, so I mentioned my dislike parenthetically. I do not think his fame has anything to do with any of this, except that (tautologically) we wouldn't be talking about him if we hadn't all heard of him. Finally, on the popularizing connotation of "mythobabble." These connotations I intended. Campbell's recent fame seems largely built on the popular atten- tion given the Moyer's series as well as sales of his books since then. Was Campbell a popularizer? Absolutely not, this all happened posthumously. Is his reputation built on a popular audience? Largely, yes. -- Ben Alpers Dept. of History Princeton University P.S. Thanks for all of the replies to the more substantive portion of my note on crowds. They are a big help. Keep those cards and letters coming!