“The Gift” by Lewis Hyde

Written by on May 7th, 2007 // Filed under Uncategorized

For the past few weeks I have been slowly pouring over a book that has been on my list for a while, "The Gift" by Lewis Hyde.  The copy I have, a gift itself from Kester, is a hardcover UK reprint of this work exploring the concept of "gift economy" (compared to the "market economy" that pervades all of modern and especially American" life).  I am a few chapters in and while I am far from being able to offer any sort of review, I want to blog bits and pieces of Hyde's words that strike me as thought-provoking, dead-on, challenging, or otherwise intriguing.  So here it goes:

"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 to art by art itself.  The future artist finds himself or herself moved by a work of art, and, through that experience, comes to labor in the service of art until he can profess his own gifts.  Those of us who do not become artists nonetheless attend to art is a similar spirit.  We come to painting, to poetry, to the stage, hoping to revive the soul."  – p.48

2 Responses to ““The Gift” by Lewis Hyde”

  1. Have you gotten any further in “The Gift?” We built Handmeon.com to foster many of those ideas, but we hadn’t read Hyde until after we did the first release. Have a look and see if you like our approach to circulating gifts…

    Posted by Michael J.Reply
  2. Michael – I love the idea (and dig the look and feel of your site). I will pass the link on and am hoping to find some time to dig in deeper at handmeon.com. I am deeply intrigued by the idea of exploring a gift economy and your site provides a playground to do so. Thanks. Hyde’s words are brilliant and hopefully have been confirming to you since your launch. I was turned to to him (and in fact was gifted “The Gift” by a British friend/author, Kester Brewin. His blog and book, “A Complex Christ” explore the idea of gift economy in the church – it is really interesting stuff.

    Posted by ZackReply

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