“The Philosophy of ‘Breaking Through’”

Katharine A. Rodger

in Breaking Through

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780520247048
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932661 | DOI:
“The Philosophy of ‘Breaking Through’”

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Edward F. Ricketts drafted and revised his essay “The Philosophy of Breaking Through” throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, often after discussions and correspondence with friends such as John Steinbeck and Joseph Campbell. The version included in this chapter is from a typescript marked “Revised July 1940, Mexico City,” composed of fifteen double-spaced pages, and it reflects a number of suggestions Campbell made in a 1939 letter. Ricketts's notion of breaking through derived largely from his readings of the Tao Teh Ching, T. D. Suzuki's Essays in Zen Buddhism, and Robinson Jeffers's Roan Stallion, but as with most of his ideas, he integrated concepts from many sources and disciplines.

Keywords: Edward F. Ricketts; Breaking Through; John Steinbeck; Joseph Campbell; Tao Teh Ching; Robinson Jeffers; T. D. Suzuki; Zen Buddhism; Roan Stallion

Chapter.  6496 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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