The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Sep 24, 2019 - Self-Help - 480 pages
“If you want to write, paint, sing, compose, act, or make films, read The Gift.” —from the Introduction by Margaret Atwood

A modern classic cherished by many of the greatest artists of our time and a brilliant, life-changing defense of the value of creative labor.


Drawing on examples from folklore and literature, history and tribal customs, economics and modern copyright law, Lewis Hyde demonstrates how our society—governed by the marketplace—is poorly equipped to determine the worth of artists’ work. He shows us that another way is possible: the alternative economy of the gift, which allows creations and ideas to circulate freely, rather than hoarding them as commodities.

Illuminating and transformative, The Gift is a triumph of originality and insight—an essential book for anyone who has ever given or received a work of art.
 

Contents

Five The Gift Community
96
Eight The Commerce of the Creative Spirit
185
Nine A Draft of Whitman
208
Conclusion
356
On Being Good Ancestors
369
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

LEWIS HYDE is a poet, essayist, translator, and cultural critic with a particular interest in the public life of the imagination. In addition to The Gift, he is the author of Trickster Makes This World; Common as Air; A Primer on Forgetting; and a book of poems, This Error is the Sign of Love. He has also published two volumes of translations of Nobel laureate Vicente Aleixandre’s poetry and is the editor of On the Poetry of Allen Ginsberg and The Essays of Henry D. Thoreau. A MacArthur Fellow and former director of creative writing at Harvard University, Hyde was the Richard L. Thomas Professor in Creative Writing at Kenyon College until his retirement in 2018. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, the writer Patricia Vigderman.

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