Creative Mythology is the fourth and last volume in Masks of God. Up to this book, I thought the work had become stronger with each volume. The first book, Primitive Mythology published in 1959 by and large dealt with the pre-historic era Campbell sees at the root of world culture, and so relied quite a bit on archeology and the speculations of such psychologists as Freud. It was very dry and I suspected, dated. The second volume, Oriental Mythology, primarily examined Egypt, India and China--and certainly made me want to read more--and reread Confucius and Lao Tzu in light of what I'd learned. In Occidental Mythology, Campbell examined the religious/mythological heritage of the West, both of the Greco-Roman classical world and the Levant as expressed in the scripture of Zoroasterism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Creative Mythology examines something quite different. Not the dogma found in scripture nor indigenous ritual and artifacts. Rather it examines the "living mythology" of literature, music and paintings. Campbell sees in the Renaissance the "dawning day and civilization of the individual" who seeks to be "not coercive, but evocative." Grounded in individualism, this new ethos is expressed both in the rise, or given classical culture, the return, of the idea of reason in the sciences but also in the ideal of romantic love found in the troubadours and Arthurian legends. Campbell also examines modern users and makers of mythos such as Wagner, Picasso, Thomas Mann--and giving in my opinion far too much space to James Joyce, but then I'm not a fan. I read Joyce's Ulysses only three months ago, so it, and how much I detested it, is fresh in my mind. With the previous volumes there was no doubt in my mind about the centrality and importance of the texts and artifacts Campbell was examining and Campbell was at his fascinating best making connections between them. But in this volume where Campbell mostly plays literary critic, I found him at his most dull, tedious, repetitive and impenetrable. So though I gave the first volume 3 stars as worth reading, the next 4 stars as something I learned much from and the next one after that 5 stars for some amazing connections, insights and arguments, this last volume only gets two stars from me--and I'm being generous.