The Gift

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by Lewis Hyde

Starting with the premise that the work of art is a gift and not a commodity, this revolutionary book ranges across anthropology, literature, economics, and psychology to show how the 'commerce of the creative spirit' functions in the lives of artists and in culture as a whole.

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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