The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World Setting & Symbolism

Lewis Hyde
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Salmon

The salmon of the American Indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest are one of Hyde’s primary metaphorical figures for the gift. They are referenced throughout the book as a chief heuristic example of the type of universal, metaphysical zoe-life that runs through, undergirds, and extends beyond particular manifestations of bios-life. The salmon are ritualistically given back to the rivers by the tribal societies and this return typifies the sort of abundance and increase that Hyde believes is attached to each instance of the gift.

Silhouette Romances

Drugstore Silhouettes Romance novels are Hyde’s introductory gambit to the book. They function as a paradigmatic example of the sort of commodity art that, on Hyde’s reading, circulate pervasively in market economies but stifle the determinations of gift exchange he explores throughout the text. These novels masquerade as art, but are bought, sold, and—especially—created with the...

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This section contains 741 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World Study Guide
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