Lewis Hyde

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Poet, writer, philosopher, major theoretician on poetics of the gift. Hyde's is probably best known for his book 'The Gift' Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World.

"By now a modern classic, The Gift is a brilliantly orchestrated defense of the value of creativity and of its importance in a culture increasingly governed by money and overrun with commodities."

In his more recent work 'Common as Air' Hyde "offers a stirring defense of our cultural commons, that vast store of art and ideas we have inherited from the past and continue to enrich in the present. Suspicious of the current idea that all creative work is "intellectual property," Lewis Hyde turns to America's founders—men like Franklin, Adams, Madison, and Jefferson—in search of other ways to imagine the fruits of human wit and imagination. What he discovers is a rich tradition in which knowledge was assumed to be a commonwealth, not a private preserve.'

URL = http://www.lewishyde.com/


"Lewis Hyde is a poet, essayist, translator, and cultural critic with a particular interest in the public life of the imagination. His 1983 book, The Gift, illuminates and defends the non-commercial portion of artistic practice. Trickster Makes This World (1998) uses a group of ancient myths to argue for the kind of disruptive intelligence all cultures need if they are to remain lively, flexible, and open to change. Hyde is currently at work on a book about our “cultural commons,” that vast store of ideas, inventions, and works of art that we have inherited from the past and continue to produce.

A MacArthur Fellow and former director of undergraduate creative writing at Harvard University, Hyde teaches during the fall semesters at Kenyon College, where he is the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing. During the rest of the year he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society." (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/events/luncheon/2010/06/hyde)

More Information

  1. Lewis Hyde on the Cultural Commons
  2. Common As Air
  3. Podcast : Lewis Hyde on Common As Air