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Trickster Makes This World: How Disruptive Imagination Creates Culture. Paperback – 4 Sep 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847672256
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847672254
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"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)

Review

'Hyde is persuasive and is at his most interesting on contemporary tricksters.'

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The other review here has a valid point: hyde barely mentions the artists whom he is suggesting are modern tricksters. Sure, he mentions Picasso, almost in passing, but he mostly concentrates on analysing folk myths and tales to bolster his point about how culture needs an 'outsider' force to disrupt the norm, to push it forward.

In which case, I would've like two extra things from this book: a) at least one chapter devoted to applying his logic into an artists life, showing how he believes the artist indeed embodies the trickster (instead, Hyde uses the narrative of a slave in revolutionary America) and b) how this trickster figure fits into modern religion (as it clearly does - although maybe that's another book).

This being said, this is an excellent book if, like me, you haven't already read the many folk tale books out there. I would also say, althought I can't qualify this, that if I had already done that, this book would still be a welcome addition to my shelf, as he raises some excellent points and I often found myself thinking about how these character archetypes not only help us understand the world, but fit into society. Which, I suppose on another level, is what Hyde tries to do. Sadly, I think he runs out of space to labour some of his briefer points.

Excellent book, though.
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Format: Paperback
"I can't see you, but I know you're there..." (Peter Falk in Wings of Desire) -- The hero, the martyr, the whore-with-a-heart-of-gold, the earth mother, the domineering father, ad nauseum, all the archetypes of our world, and of the worlds from which we come, have been done to death, and exist as fully realized options, niches in society, possibilities, definite shapes -- trickster is much more amorphous, less obvious, less overtly possible as an option, yet somehow always lurking somewhere nearby, stoking the creative fires and putting thumbtacks on unsuspecting seats. Hyde gives trickster the exegesis and the credit he rightly deserves but seems so often to dodge or come late to. Well worth reading, even if you disagree with Hyde's premise (as so many seem to).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have just finished writing a (slightly gushy) email to Lewis Hyde to tell him how amazing I think he is. As far as this book goes, I have genuinely never read anything better on the subject of Tricksters. I have been looking for this book for a long time without realising it existed.
The author is incredibly intelligent and leads you down paths of logic and exploration that will leave anyone interested in myth/tricksters with their jaw hanging open and a smile on thier face. I love this book. The wisdom and depth of the text is incredible.
I adore tricksters. And I have spent a long time researching them. This is something that has completely changed how I view some of the elements of what it is to be a Trickster.
I can't rave enough.
Fantastic!! Buy it!!
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By A Customer on 23 Jan. 1998
Format: Hardcover
No lover of myth, folklore, or the arts should be without it. I can't recommend this book (or The Gift) too highly. Many thanks to Lewis Hyde for these inspiring works.
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