By Lewis Hyde
Through now a latest vintage, The Gift is a brilliantly orchestrated safeguard of the worth of creativity and of its value in a tradition more and more ruled by means of cash and overrun with commodities.
Widely on hand back after twenty-five years, this ebook is much more valuable this day than whilst it first seemed. An illuminating and transformative booklet, and entirely unique in its view of the area, The Gift is adored through artists, writers, musicians, and thinkers. it's in itself a present to all who notice the vintage knowledge present in its pages.
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Additional resources for The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
The Hebrew-Aramaic dictionary of Gesenius-Buhl, 16th ed. v. ḥ-r-r II. No truly satisfactory etymology has as yet been discovered for Greek eleutheros either, according to M. Pohlenz, Griechische Freiheit (Heidelberg, 1955), 189. Cf. A. Reifenberg, Ancient Jewish Coins, 2nd ed. (Jerusalem, 1947), 58 (dating from the first revolt), 60 ff. Dîwân, ed. H. Macartney (Cambridge, 1919), 449. v. ḥ-r-r. Cf. the Arabic dictionaries, among them the Lisân al-ʿArab, loc. cit. the linguistic terminology 33 used more widely when Islam came into contact with the philosophical thinking of the Mediterranean world that had known speculation about freedom for many centuries.
Since both competition and envy are not material but psychological qualities, someone like Abû Ḥayyân at-Tawḥîdî might easily have been dissatisfied with the saying. For him, “man’s laziness comes from his clay (ṭîn), while his active energy comes from his soul. ” Cf. lmtâʿ, II, 194. A particularly good and probably quite old, if fictitious, example is the brief letter of Muʿâwiyah to ʿAlî, beginning with “Give up envy” and ending with a reference to Qurʾân 113:5, cf. Naṣr b. Muzâḥim al-Minqarî, Waqʿat Ṣiffîn, ed.
It is very well possible that some emotional process originally indicated by the root ḥ-s-d took a strongly positive connotation (and occasional negative connotation) in one place and a strongly and exclusively negative connotation in another. In the same vein, it should be observed that the comparatively close agreement in meaning between Arabic ḥasad and our “envy” is not something to be taken for granted but is, on the contrary, rather exceptional as internal psychological processes rarely are defined linguistically in identical ways in different languages.
The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde