16 January 2007
You know when something opens your mind. Not prying it open, or slapping it with a wet fish [um ya]. More like eating a delicious meal and realizing, slowly while consuming, that you… had… no… idea… food could be this way. It could be a meal, a relationship, an idea about life. Ideas or truths that aren’t actually new but ignored or forgotten- the grace, lusciousness and soul replaced with cold logic, practicality and other boring cruel stuff. Well! Here’s a book by Lewis Hyde that isn’t a slap in the brain with a wet fish!
I’ll pass you now to D. Bannister’s Amazon review of The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property-
“In many aspects this is an exceptional book. It not only discusses the history of gift in culture but through the work of Walt Whitman and Ezra Pound it discusses the gift in poetry and art as well. The book focuses on the importance of gift, the flow and movement of gift, and the impact that the modern market place has had on the circle of gift.
From the opening pages when Hyde amusingly discloses the premise of gift by juxtaposing the Indian Giver with White Man Keeper, the book progresses gift through community, folktale and art.
If you have ever been dismayed by the modern or postmodern. If you have ever wanted to make your money, cash out and leave the madness, you should read this book. Not only does it give you hope, it may rejuvenate your idea of community.”
To balance out this adulation, go to the book’s Amazon page and scroll down to Stan Eads’ less favourable but insightful review.
I think it’s worth a read.