Lewis Hyde
The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
August 15, 2019 Comments.. 939
The Gift Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property Starting with the premise that the work of art is a gift and not a commodity this revolutionary book ranges across anthropology literature economics and psychology to show how the commerce of the
  • Title: The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
  • Author: Lewis Hyde
  • ISBN: 9780099273226
  • Page: 240
  • Format: Paperback
  • Starting with the premise that the work of art is a gift and not a commodity, this revolutionary book ranges across anthropology, literature, economics, and psychology to show how the commerce of the creative spirit functions in the lives of artists and in culture as a whole.
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      Lewis Hyde

    1 Blog on “The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property

    1. Austin Kleon says:

      Amazing, amazing book My map

    2. Nick says:

      I tried to like this book, since it had come so highly recommended, and it was in a 25th anniversary edition If it has been in print all those years, there must be something to it, right Nope First of all, it s badly structured The first half is an extended discussion of the concept of gifts vs paying for things in ancient vs modern societies Once you get the basic point, that especially older societies exchanged goods and services as gifts, not for money, and that Hyde thinks that s a better wa [...]

    3. Eric Hansen says:

      I felt I needed to write a review to counter the negative ones here Any book that calls the zeitgeist into question is bound to draw confusion and pushback I ve bought this book three times because I give it to friends who don t always give it back That s okay The Gift was and is a profound touchstone for me and for an older generation of writers who knew Hyde from his Minnesota days I recommend it to artists who wonder how their gifts may be appeciated for their worth, if not always always thei [...]

    4. Josh says:

      I chose this edition because the new one looks like a Valentine s day card I expected it to be perfumed inside The Gift is a large and pretty messy book, to its credit, but the main thrusts are 1 To use detailed analyses of folk tales, anthropology, and economic theory to come up with a model for human interaction that parallels commodity exchange but is based around gift giving, and 2 To give detailed readings of Whitman and Pound, two poets whose careers and lives Hyde sees standing at an inte [...]

    5. Emily says:

      I picked this up at a bookstore where I was killing some time before an appointment I read the preface and the introduction and wept through them both I left for my appointment, thinking I d have to find a used copy of this book sometime and read it A couple of hours later, I had to go back and buy it because I was still thinking about it So it lit a fire under me, for sure Whether or not it fulfilled the promise of that fire is still up for debate The preface and the intro are really easy readi [...]

    6. Malbadeen says:

      blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, bl [...]

    7. Liliana says:

      Now in its 25th anniversary edition, this book is as current and necessary as it was in 1979 A creative mix of ethnography, folklore, economics the gift economy, the market economy, the vegetable money economy , and literary criticism Whitman and Pound all seen through the prism of art as a gift and the artist as a gifted person Keen observations are sprinkled throughout on how an artist needs to protect from market forces that space where the artwork is conceived essentially a gift , and only w [...]

    8. blakeR says:

      The title of this book is the most egregious misnomer I ve ever encountered Combined with the misleading jacket description I don t think I ve ever had a disappointing or frustrating experience from a book that I thought was going to be pretty straightforward.It would have been accurately subtitled not Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, but An Ethnographic Study Through the Works of Whitman and Pound If that subtitle still appeals to you, by all means read the book, but at least no [...]

    9. Jessica says:

      While Hyde has given his readers the gift of a lens through which to view artistic endeavors, this could have been done in about 50 pages not 385 This book reminded me of a typical college freshman essay I want to write about everything And therefore, nothing is really achieved While the gift metaphor is interesting, it s too vague to help in any but the most theoretical way This could have been a tight essay, a literary work like a novel or short story or a scholarly work on the anthropological [...]

    10. Seth Mann says:

      Persevere through this book and I believe you will be rewarded with some interesting observations about human nature and how we perceive one another in particular, you will find new perspectives on who is considered an insider or outsider to your group and how you treat them in kind You will also be introduced universally shared human traits in this case, gift giving You will learn why there is much to the practice of gift giving than you ever thought possible and that the manipulation of this [...]

    11. Charlotte says:

      You who keep such close track of my currently reading list may have noticed I know I have that when I put something on it, I promptly stop reading it It s where books in my life go to stagnate This holiday season, with my glut of unclaimed time, I aim to change this trend To that end, I have just finished The Gift, which I see I started reading two years ago This is an AMAZING book I sort of want to start reading it all over again from the beginning, since what I read two years ago is a little f [...]

    12. Rachel says:

      it turns out that every culture has a great creepy folktale about how, if you give up on your art or become ungenerous, you shrivel up and turn into a rotten fascist pruneis is one of the best books I ve ever read and has changed my life, and is smart as hell, even though the cover has an embarrassing little pink heart on it IGNORE THE EMBARRASSING PINK HEART AND FORGE AHEAD or risk becoming a rotten fascist prune, you know, it s your choice

    13. Keith says:

      Sorry, but this good hearted little book, much loved by the market alienated artists it praises for preserving the primitive magic of creativity in our cold age well, it s kind of a crock Hyde s emphasis on the processes by which true Art is created pays off in nice biographical readings of Whitman and Pound, but blinds him to the obvious truth that purity of intention does not determine OK, does not always determine the meaningfulness of a creation We sure could use some powerful defenses of th [...]

    14. Gabriela Ventura says:

      Lewis Hyde entrou no meu radar por conta de seu excelente ensaio sobre o arqu tipo Trickster Quando vi o nome dele na capa de um livro que no Brasil foi traduzido como A d diva edi o de 2010 da Civiliza o Brasileira, estou com pregui a de cadastrar aqui no n o hesitei em comprar.The gift foi escrito em 1979 , portanto, bem anterior a Trickster makes the world 1998 Esse prel dio s pra dizer que o livro n o t o bacana assim Ou eu estava esperando demais Seja como for, continua sendo uma leitura in [...]

    15. Laura says:

      This book is a little tedious to read especially the last section that details the lives of two poets but WOW is it original When it isn t boring, it s fascinating I liked the book but I think I d love the TED talk version.Essentially, Hyde describes how gift giving establishes the relational boundaries between people We exchange gifts with people in our tribe, but we charge interest to those outside of it We give gifts that symbolize our desire to help or to honor or to live in community with p [...]

    16. Adam Fisher says:

      I wanted to like this book, but ended up hating it thoroughly by the time I was done with it His exploration of gift economies is one sided and glosses over most of their problematic aspects a text I read by a feminist author last year pointed out that in old school gift economies women were often used as gifts, and traded in the same way, as a form of homosocial bonding Hyde refuses to acknowledge these less pleasant aspects of gift economies, focusing instead on everything that he can use to s [...]

    17. Jasmin Cheng says:

      I approached this book with some skepticism based on previous reviews What I discovered was a long and thoughtful essay rather than a self help guide I think this would be a very disappointing self help book Especially if you re an artist looking for financial advice do not read this for that Instead, The Gift is a beautifully written, thoughtfully cultivated essay on how human society has changed since tribalism to capitalism, and how this has affected the work of an artist Hyde does not try to [...]

    18. Carlene Byron says:

      I m now in my second reading of Lewis Hyde s excellent book in print than 30 years I would encourage my conservative Christian friends to ignore the marketing department s new and irrelevant subtitle on this edition Hyde, a MacArthur Fellow, offers profound insights into the differences between gift and exchange economies in the first half of this book I found my own reading of the Old Testament profoundly informed by the opportunity to view Israel as a gift economy, similar to the economies I [...]

    19. L.A. says:

      A book in two parts, both theoretical rather than practical In the first half, Hyde explores gift economies throughout history and folklore, and argues that a gift doesn t achieve its full potential until it is either shared or somehow passed on literally, the gift that keeps on giving In part two, Hyde closely examines the careers of Ezra Pound and Walt Whitman, to see how they managed to survive as artists I learned a lot of things about Whitman I didn t know, which was awesome, and I learned [...]

    20. Sessily says:

      Hyde originally wrote this book with poets in mind, but it is recommended for anyone working in any of the arts, or who wants to devote themselves to a career or calling that does not do well in a market economy In the first half of the book he draws on cultural anthropology and folktales to lay out his theory of a gift economy, and the characteristics and requirements of a gift In the second half, he uses that theory to examine the works and lives of Walt Whitman and Ezra Pound Neither section [...]

    21. Susan Price says:

      An excellent book for artists, writers, scientists, musicians and wiki contributors anyone who has a gift and senses the obligation to keep the gift in motion Hyde lays out his thoughts on gift economies, based on folklore and cultural studies He contrasts gift exchange with less emotionally involving market transactions And he explores the issues that artists face when they are obliged to market their own work the risk of corrupting their deep art with market driven hack work I m paraphrasing I [...]

    22. Bennievermeer says:

      a work of art is a gift, not a commodity Or, to state the modern case with precision, works of art exist simultaneously in two economies , a market economy and a gift economy Only one of these is essential, however a work of art can survive without the market, but where there is no gift there is no art This is the premise of Lewis Hyde s The Gift 1983 Part anthropology, sociology and economics and part literary criticism, the book is hard to categorize, let alone summarize But, as Hyde points o [...]

    23. Kony says:

      Requires patience, but is ultimately rewarding In a curious, gently critical tone, Hyde disrupts modern assumptions about value worth Core idea the most precious things in life are exchanged freely art, friendship, charity and in exchanging them, we create community Despite modern market pressures, we can and should carve out spheres for circulating gifts.First half imparts these ideas through forays into myth, anthropology, intellectual history, economics which are at times stimulating, at time [...]

    24. Janie says:

      This is a book about the cycle set in motion by gift giving as it relates to the economy, art, relationships, and life Using proverbs, folk tales and examples in nature the author illustrates the role of gift giving as used in tribal societies In contrast, by thriving on scarcity and accumulation, modern capitalism breaks this cycle, causing spiritual and material entropy A lovely book on how a simple act can serve as a powerful symbol for life We stand before a bonfire or even a burning house a [...]

    25. Jeff says:

      It s become common sense to talk about artistic creation as part of our market economy, complicating the pressures of artistic creation with expectations for artists to then function as business people to sell, promote, and distribute their creations as well as make them Hyde, after an analysis of the notion of the gift in various cultures, and comparison of gift culture with market culture, makes an excellent case that what artists do is better understood as a gift than as a product for sale It [...]

    26. Tomas Martin says:

      Tried desperately to like it, but absolutely cannot I don t care what reviews come in, this is a terrible treatise of any kind I get the impression that you re supposed to love this book because the writing community tells you that you should Reads like a ninth grader thinking that this would cut it as a Yale Ph.D dissertation Sorry, it s not.

    27. Jennifer says:

      This book was not at all what I expected, yet it proved so thought provoking on the subject matter that I will be pondering it for some time Hyde talks a great deal about the nature of gift economies versus trade economies, value versus worth, and identity versus deep self His discussion of the poets Walt Whitman and Ezra Pound were particularly intriguing for me.

    28. Jennifer says:

      Really interesting meditation on the conflicts between art and commerceewed through the perspective of all art as a gift that is not diminished through sharing I m just finishing and alreading feeling like I ve got to read it again to get the full gist.

    29. Merce Cardus says:

      A gift to spark creativity bit XdwAht

    30. D says:

      A splendid book outlining the difference between commodities and gifts What is good is given back 1st question posed by editor Who is your audience Since the 1989 fall of the Soviet Union, the West has undergone a period of remarkable market triumphalism We ve witnessed the steady conversion into private property of the art and ideas that earlier generations thought belonged to their cultural commons, and we ve seen the commodification of things that a few years ago would have seemed beyond the [...]

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