Susan Price's Reviews > The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World

The Gift by Lewis Hyde
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it was amazing
bookshelves: spirit-seeking-best

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 found the chapters on Walt Whitman and Ezra Pound heavy-going, but worth getting through for the final chapters.
In this edition there is a 25th Anniversary Afterword, written in 2007. Hyde regrets the "market triumphalism" that wants to turn every great idea into a trademarked/copyrighted/patented payoff. But he's optimistic about the web enterprises that are returning creative gifts to the commons.
This book will definitely go on the "great ideas" bookshelf next to my bed.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 22, 2013 – Shelved as: spirit-seeking-best
October 22, 2013 – Shelved as: spirit-seeking
October 22, 2013 – Shelved
October 22, 2013 – Shelved as: spirit-seeking-best

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Pamela Richards I've been very moved by this book, because these concepts crystallize the experiences we have in the creative community. I remain obliged to the one who first shared this book with me.


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