First published in German in 1909, Otto Rank's original The Myth of the Birth of the Hero offered psychoanalytical interpretations of mythological stories as a means of understanding the human psyche. Like his mentor Sigmund Freud, Rank compared the myths of such figures as Oedipus, Moses, and Sargon with common dreams, seeing in both a symbolic fulfillment of repressed desire. In a new edition published thirteen years after the original, Rank doubled the size of his seminal work, incorporating new discoveries in psychoanalysis, mythology, and ethnology.
This expanded and updated edition has been eloquently translated by Gregory C. Richter and E. James Lieberman and includes an introductory essay by Robert A. Segal as well as Otto Rank's 1914 essay "The Play in Hamlet."
About the Author:
Otto Rank (1884–1939), one of the most important figures in psychoanalysis, was the author of The Incest Theme in Literature and Legend: Fundamentals of a Psychology of Literary Creation and Psychology and the Soul: A Study of the Origin, Conceptual Evolution, and Nature of the Soul.
Gregory C. Richter, PhD, is a professor of German and linguistics at Truman State University.
E. James Lieberman, MD, is professor emeritus of clinical psychiatry and behavioral sciences at George Washington University.
Robert A. Segal, PhD, is the Sixth Century Chair in Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen.