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"The Other Within" aims to disclose the blessings of outsider-hood, the many gifts and insights contributed to culture by the marginalized and outcast. Unlike studies that focus on the plight of the outsider, author Daniel Deardorff tells us that to be cast down and out of the consensus-worldview affords a difficult yet significant opportunity: to encounter oneself, not as defined by society, but as we actually are. Having been brought down by polio as a child, Deardorff finds himself naturally able to speak to the experience of otherness, and is an eloquent spokesman for 'the man or woman on the weird road'. In the commodity-based culture's vigorous suppression of mythological thinking, there is an ever-growing imperative to avoid self-examination by defining ourselves in terms of what we are not: 'the other is not like us, does not belong'; 'what is other is not me'.In this way, 'otherness' functions to carry all the defects which we deny and repress. Yet in the defect, in the wound, there is a gift: the realms of otherness - weirdness, wilderness, myth - hold a vast treasury of lost and forgotten arts and wisdom. In the author's words: 'the "Other Within" provides a disclosure of the hidden yet implicate Mythic Reality, which is - as it has always been - the wisdom and 'medicine' necessary for the renewal and revitalization of our individual and cultural lives'. Deardorff presents dozens of powerful examples from myth and literature to illustrate his message in a richly allusive, complex series of essays. This book takes the reader on an initiatory journey, seeking the roots of human identity, imagination, and all we've forgotten we are.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781556437601
ISBN-10: 1556437609
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Pages: 216
Imprint: North Atlantic Books,U.S.
Publisher: North Atlantic Books,U.S.
Publish Date: 28-Feb-2009
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Daniel Deardorff

Daniel Deardorff is a composer, producer, and performer who has toured with the band Seals and Crofts. An independent scholar who has become a prominent figure in the mythopoesis movement, he lives in Port Townsend, WA. Robert Bly is one of America s preeminent poets. He lives in Minneapolis, MN."