Laura's Reviews > The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property

The Gift by Lewis Hyde
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really liked it

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 people.

Later, and I wish Hyde had developed this part SO much more, he makes the connection that sharing your art, your creativity, your talent is also a form of gift-giving, a way of building community and giving freely of yourself. I felt like he never quite drove this point home in the way I wanted him to, and yet his thesis sparked my imagination in a thousand ways. It encourages me to keep writing, even if it is only a gift for a few people. It encourages me to keep cheering on amateurs, a cause I very much want to be on board with. This thesis fits so nicely into my mental landscape that even though this book feels incomplete, I love it anyways for giving me a foundation to build on.

I wrote about one facet of my experience with this book here.
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Reading Progress

October 1, 2017 – Started Reading
October 1, 2017 – Shelved
October 16, 2017 –
page 0
October 30, 2017 – Finished Reading

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