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Lewis Hyde Quotes

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Lewis Hyde Quote: “Irony has only emergency use. Carried over time it is the voice of the trapped who have come to enjoy their cage.”

Irony has only emergency use. Carried over time it is the voice of the trapped who have come to enjoy their cage.

— Lewis Hyde



Lewis Hyde Quote: “A gift that cannot be given away ceases to be a gift. The spirit of a gift is kept alive by its constant donation.”

A gift that cannot be given away ceases to be a gift. The spirit of a gift is kept alive by its constant donation.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “True citizens are not the audience of their government, nor its consumers; they are its makers.”

True citizens are not the audience of their government, nor its consumers; they are its makers.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “The gift finds the man attractive who stands with an empty bowl he does not own.”

The gift finds the man attractive who stands with an empty bowl he does not own.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “Unlike the sale of a commodity, the giving of a gift tends to establish a relationship between the parties involved. When gifts circulate within a group, their commerce leaves a series of interconnected relationships in its wake, and a kind of decentralized cohesiveness emerges.”

Unlike the sale of a commodity, the giving of a gift tends to establish a relationship between the parties involved. When gifts circulate within a group, their commerce leaves a series of interconnected relationships in its wake, and a kind of decentralized cohesiveness emerges.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “The passage into mystery always refreshes. If, when we work, we can look once a day upon the face of mystery, then our labor satisfies. We are lightened when our gifts rise from pools we cannot fathom. Then we know they are not a solitary egotism and they are inexhaustible.”

The passage into mystery always refreshes. If, when we work, we can look once a day upon the face of mystery, then our labor satisfies. We are lightened when our gifts rise from pools we cannot fathom. Then we know they are not a solitary egotism and they are inexhaustible.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “We forgive when we give up attachment to our wounds.”

We forgive when we give up attachment to our wounds.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “When we are moved by art we are grateful that the artist lived, grateful that he labored in the service of his gifts.”

When we are moved by art we are grateful that the artist lived, grateful that he labored in the service of his gifts.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “An essential portion of any artist’s labor is not creation so much as invocation.”

An essential portion of any artist’s labor is not creation so much as invocation.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “Art does not organize parties, nor is it the servant or colleague of power. Rather, the work of art becomes a political force simply through the faithful representation of the spirit. It is a political act to create an image of the self or of the collective.”

Art does not organize parties, nor is it the servant or colleague of power. Rather, the work of art becomes a political force simply through the faithful representation of the spirit. It is a political act to create an image of the self or of the collective.

— Lewis Hyde



Lewis Hyde Quote: “We are only alive to the degree that we can let ourselves be moved.”

We are only alive to the degree that we can let ourselves be moved.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “Better to operate with detachment, then; better to have a way but infuse it with a little humor; best, to have no way at all but to have instead the wit constantly to make one’s way anew from the materials at hand.”

Better to operate with detachment, then; better to have a way but infuse it with a little humor; best, to have no way at all but to have instead the wit constantly to make one’s way anew from the materials at hand.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “I think of a myth as a story that helps you explain all the different pieces of your life. In that broad sense, there is no way to live without mythology.”

I think of a myth as a story that helps you explain all the different pieces of your life. In that broad sense, there is no way to live without mythology.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “Science may not be as intimate as the medical profession; nonetheless, it certainly is a community in which ideas are often shared as contributions, not as proprietary things.”

Science may not be as intimate as the medical profession; nonetheless, it certainly is a community in which ideas are often shared as contributions, not as proprietary things.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “An essential portion of any artist’s labor is not creation so much as invocation. Part of the work cannot be made, it must be received; and we cannot have this gift except, perhaps, by supplication, by courting, by creating within ourselves that ‘begging bowl’ to which the gift is drawn.”

An essential portion of any artist’s labor is not creation so much as invocation. Part of the work cannot be made, it must be received; and we cannot have this gift except, perhaps, by supplication, by courting, by creating within ourselves that ‘begging bowl’ to which the gift is drawn.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “An anaesthetic is a poet-killer.”

An anaesthetic is a poet-killer.

— Lewis Hyde


Lewis Hyde Quote: “But neither money nor machines can create. They shuttle tokens of energy, but they do not transform. A civilization based on them puts people out of touch with their creative powers.”

But neither money nor machines can create. They shuttle tokens of energy, but they do not transform. A civilization based on them puts people out of touch with their creative powers.

— Lewis Hyde

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