The Gift Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property by Lewis Hyde
1,926 ratings, 4.02 average rating, 305 reviews
The Gift Quotes Showing 1-25 of 25
“Most artists are brought to their vocation when their own nascent gifts are awakened by the work of a master. That is to say, most artists are converted to art by art itself. Finding one's voice isn't just an emptying and purifying oneself of the words of others but an adopting and embracing of filiations, communities, and discourses. Inspiration could be called inhaling the memory of an act never experienced. Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos. Any artist knows these truths, no matter how deeply he or she submerges that knowing.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“Erik Erikson has commented: Potentially creative men like (Bernard) Shaw build the personal fundament of their work during a self-decreed moratorium, during which they often starve themselves, socially, erotically, and, at last but not least, nutritionally, in order to let the grosser weeds die out, and make way for the growth of their inner garden. ”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“The passage into mystery always refreshes. If, when we work, we can look once a day upon the face of mystery, then our labor satisfies. We are lightened when our gifts rise from pools we cannot fathom. Then we know they are not a solitary egotism and they are inexhaustible.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
“All cultures seem to find a slightly alien local population to carry the Hermes projection. For the Vietnamese it is the Chinese, and for the Chinese it is the Japanese. For the Hindu it is the Moslem; for the North Pacific tribes it was the Chinook; in Latin America and in the American South it is the Yankee. In Uganda it is the East Indians and Pakistanis. In French Quebec it is the English. In Spain the Catalans are "the Jews of Spain". On Crete it is the Turks, and in Turkey it is the Armenians. Lawrence Durrell says that when he lived in Crete he was friends with the Greeks, but that when he wanted to buy some land they sent him to a Turk, saying that a Turk was what you needed for a trade, though of course he couldn't be trusted.
This figure who is good with money but a little tricky is always treated as a foreigner even if his family has been around for centuries. Often he actually is a foreigner, of course. He is invited in when the nation needs trade and he is driven out - or murdered - when nationalism begins to flourish: the Chinese out of Vietnam in 1978, the Japanese out of China in 1949, the Jankees out of South America and Iran, the East Indians out of Uganda under Idi Amin, and the Armenians out of Turkey in 1915-16. The outsider is always used as a catalyst to arouse nationalism, and when times are hard he will always be its victim as well.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift
“we would no longer call it an ego at all. The gift leaves all boundary and circles into mystery. The passage into mystery always refreshes. If, when we work, we can look once a day upon the face of mystery, then our labor satisfies. We are lightened when our gifts rise from pools we cannot fathom. Then we know they are not a solitary egotism and they are inexhaustible. Anything contained within a boundary must contain as well its own exhaustion. The”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“The more we allow such commodity art to define and control our gifts, the less gifted we will become, as individuals and as a society. The”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“We may not have the power to profess our gifts as the artist does, and yet we come to recognize, and in a sense to receive, the endowments of our being through the agency of his creation.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
“Scarcity appears when wealth cannot flow. Elsewhere”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“Because the spirit of the gift shuns exactness and because gifts do not necessarily move reciprocally (and therefore do not produce the adversary roles of creditor and debtor), courts of law would be rightly perplexed as to how to adjudicate a case of ingratitude. Contracts”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“Out of bad faith comes a longing for control, for the law and the police. Bad faith suspects that the gift will not come back, that things won’t work out, that there is a scarcity so great in the world that it will devour whatever gifts appear. In bad faith the circle is broken.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“A market exchange has an equilibrium or stasis: you pay to balance the scale. But when you give a gift there is momentum, and the weight shifts from body to body.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
“In a free market the people are free, the ideas are locked up.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
“A man may wonder what will come in return for his gift, but he is not supposed to bring it up. Gift exchange is not a form of barter. ‘The”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“The gift moves in a circle, and two people do not make much of a circle. Two points establish a line, but a circle lies in a plane and needs at least three points. This”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“Circular giving differs from reciprocal giving in several ways. First, when the gift moves in a circle no one ever receives it from the same person he gives it to. I”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“When the gift moves in a circle its motion is beyond the control of the personal ego, and so each bearer must be a part of the group and each donation is an act of social faith.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“The problem is that wealth ceases to move freely when all things are counted and priced. It may accumulate in great heaps, but fewer and fewer people can afford to enjoy it. After the”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“when we profit on exchange or convert ‘one man’s gift to another man’s capital’ – we nourish that part of our being (or our group) which is distinct and separate from others. Negative reciprocity strengthens the spirits – constructive or destructive – of individualism and clannishness.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“Only when the increase of gifts moves with the gift may the accumulated wealth of our spirit continue to grow among us, so that each of us may enter, and be revived by, a vitality beyond his or her solitary powers.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
“I discovered in belles-lettres that the Giver can be transformed into his own Gift, that is, into a pure object. Chance had made me a man, generosity would make me a book. JEAN-PAUL SARTRE”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“An essential portion of any artist’s labor is not creation so much as invocation.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
“There are many connections between anarchist theory and gift exchange as an economy – both assume that man is generous, or at least cooperative, ‘in nature’; both shun centralized power; both are best fitted to small groups and loose federations; both rely on contracts of the heart over codified contract, and so on. But,”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“anarchism and gift exchange share the assumption that it is not when a part of the self is inhibited and restrained, but when a part of the self is given away, that community appears.”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“In one sense the reemergence of ancient usury bespeaks a decline in faith. Gift exchange is connected to faith because both are disinterested. Faith does not look out. No one by himself controls the cycle of gifts he participates in; each, instead, surrenders to the spirit of the gift in order for it to move. Therefore, the person who gives is a person willing to abandon control. If”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
“the law and the courts are all ways of stabilizing peoples who have no common God, who do not trust each other, who are all strangers and who live with an attenuated sense of time and risk. Gift”
Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property