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Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth and Art Paperback – August 17, 2010
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From Kirkus Reviews
“[A] hymn to the gods of mischief, who are also the gods of artistic and cultural renewal.” ―Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
“A major work of scholarship that is also a major work of art.” ―Sacvan Bercovitch, Harvard University
“Brilliant . . . By the time [Hyde] is done he has folded language culture, and the very habit of being human into his ken.” ―The New Yorker
“Hyde is one of our true superstars of nonfiction.” ―David Foster Wallace
“[Trickster Makes This World] should be ready by anyone interested in the grand and squalid matter of all things human.” ―Margaret Atwood, Los Angeles Times
Top Customer Reviews
To tell you the truth, I was moved to write this review by the two reviews below, both of which fall pretty wide of the mark. First, this is an amazingly well-written book, and that goes for both Hyde's prose style and his winding structure. His reflections of his own project do not upstage the subject matter but rather deepen and situate it in "time-haunted history." I wonder why anyone would expect or want a book about tricksters to be linear and transparent. By this I don't mean to suggest that Hyde is exactly "performing" the trickster in his writing. He announces his approach perfectly well: Saturn dreams of Mercury.
I suspect that this book will frustrate all species of lazy reader because it asks for a sustained, continuous, and thorough reading. All the chapters are rewarding individually, but they are best read sequentially. If you want to be able to look at a table of contents and pick one or two chapters by topic, find a doctoral thesis, or a utilitarian academic monograph.
I've not yet read The Gift, though I did purchase it after reading half-way through this book. I found "Trickster" inspiring and insightful, often funny, always surprising.
Hyde does not promise us a scholarly dissection, which, when you consider that we're talking about myths, is entirely appropriate. His writing, even when he takes us on tangents, is fluid and clear. He's someone I'd want to have dinner with, maybe once a month or so, just to hear where his thinking is going and where it's been.
Read the excerpt. See for yourself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For anyone interested in Trickster mythology and counter-culture, this book is a must-read. It's a rather dense book but also incredibly intriguing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Andrew Ward
Much as I love Lewis Hyde (The Gift is one of the great books) this book is a real chore to get through. Read morePublished 5 months ago by toronto
Excellent product, very happy with this vendor. I would use again. Thank you.Published 6 months ago by vallo Riberto
Go Martha go! Wise, nerdy and exquisitley researched. This book shook me and rocked my core.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Interesting commentary on the classics that avoids being dry and academic--a rare feat.
That said, I felt the book could've been better organized
The history and role of the trickster is well defined in this book. The trickster is still with us, just have to have the eyes to see him. Now I do.Published 16 months ago by Jan
TERRIFIC!!! Everyone who questions, who is an artist, and actor, a comedian, must read this book. I thought the trickster was outside. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Nancy N. Thornton
I can count on my fingers to books which have rearranged by thinking , changed how I perceive, and altered how I relate. This book goes deep and wild . I do like thatPublished 21 months ago by Philip Belove
This book is a treasure. I have collected trickster stories across cultures for over 50 years. They have woven their way into much of my art work and I've drawn upon them often... Read morePublished on July 10, 2014 by Amy Patricia Komar Hare