Lewis Hyde's ambitious and captivating Trickster Makes This World brings to life the playful and disruptive side of the human imagination as it is embodied in the trickster mythology. Most at home on the road or at the twilight edge of town, tricksters are consummate boundary-crossers, slipping through keyholes, breaching walls, subverting defense systems. Always out to satisfy their inordinate appetites, lying, cheating, and stealing, tricksters are a great bother to have around, but paradoxically they are also indispensable culture heroes. In North America, Coyote taught the race how to dress, sing, and shoot arrows. In West Africa, Eshu discovered the art of divination so that suffering humans might know the purposes of heaven. In Greece, Hermes the Thief invented the art of sacrifice, the trick of making fire, and even language itself. Hyde revisits these old stories, then holds them up against the life and work of more recent creators: Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Allen Ginsberg, Maxine Hong Kingston, Frederick Douglass, and others.
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"Art is a lie that tells the truth." - Pablo Picasso
Picasso disrupted the world around him, and in doing so he reshaped it. That is the Trickster spirit. Playful, mischievous, subversive, amoral. Tricksters are a great bother to have around, but paradoxically they are also indispensable heroes of culture, because ourworld - with its complexity and ambiguity, its beauty and its dirt - was trickster's creation, and the work is not yet finished.
Authoritative in its scholarship, supple and dynamic in its style, Trickster Makes This World encourages you to think and see afresh.
'Artists of whatever sort need Trickster's help from time to time: when you're blocked or stuck, take an aimless walk and let your mind off its leash, and call on Trickster. He's the opener of dreams, of roads, and of possibilities.' - Margaret AtwoodReview:
Hyde is one of our true superstars of non-fiction - this book not only covers its subject in more depth and comprehension than anything before (anything I've read, anyway) but it also ends up being about ...well, everything. The guy's both brilliant (intellectually, literarily) and wise (psychologically, spiritually, you-name-itally). (David Foster Wallace)
Dazzling ... rewards repeated reading. (Michael Chabon)
A masterpiece ... The thrilling thing about reading non-fiction such as Hyde's is not just that it gives you new thoughts: it also changes the way you think. ( Scotland on Sunday)
[Hyde] is one of those quirky, eccentric Wise Children the United States sometimes throws up-a sort of Thoreau-cum-anthropologist-cum-seer...[Trickster] should be read by anyone interested in the grand and squalid matter of all things human...A glorious grab-bag stuffed with necessary loot, a joyful plum pudding rich in treasures. (Margaret Atwood Los Angeles Times)
Brilliant...By the time he is done he has folded language, culture, and the very habit of being human into his ken. ( The New Yorker)
Hyde is far more than an astute cultural critic; he's an original and important thinker. Pass it on. (Geoff Dyer)
Intriguing ... His big ideas are seriously good ones ... Hyde's own bravuraraids on literacy, as on the world's great oral traditions, pay off here in a genuinely original way. (David Lan Guardian)
Reading Trickster Makes This World - an act of pure pleasure from first to last - forever altered, and profoundly deepened, my understanding of the relationship between storytelling and the world. (Michael Chabon)
Hyde is an armchair analyst issuing a moral commentary about individuality which is urgently needed now, when American culture is so threatened by conformity and materialism. (Jackie Wullschlager FT 2008-04-13)
This captivating book is crammed with . . . nuggets of analysis, erudition and wisdom. (Lloyd Evans Spectator)
Hyde is persuasive and is at his most interesting on contemporary tricksters. (Colin Waters The Sunday Herald 2008-10-12)
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Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux (T), 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110374279284
Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux (T). Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0374279284 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0170832
Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux (T), 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0374279284
Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux (T), 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0374279284