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Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art

Lewis Hyde

Top 10 Best Quotes

“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.”

“The first story I have to tell is not exactly true, but it isn't exactly false, either.”

“There is the family of our birth and then there is a more noble world to which we really belong; the richness of this ideal world is often proportional to the poverty of the real, as personal grandiosity is proportional to shame.”

“It is hard to travel in this fallen world if you lose the power of speech every time evil meets you on the path.”

“There is no way to suppress change…not even in heaven; there is only a choice between a way of living which allows constant, if gradual alterations and a way of living that combines great control and cataclysmic upheavals. Those who panic and bind the trickster choose the latter path. It would be better to learn to play with him, better especially to develop skills (cultural, spiritual, artistic) that allow some commerce with accident, and some acceptance of the changes that contingency will always engender.”

“The prophet speaks of things that will be true in the future because they are true in all time. The prophet disrupts the mundane in order to reveal the eternal.”

“It must be that sometimes our assertions about higher order and hidden design are fables we’ve made up to help us ignore our own contingency. Accidents tear”

“Once the web has lost its charm, its terms lose theirs; suddenly they seem contingent and open to revision. For those epi-predators who work with the signifiers themselves rather than the things they supposedly signify, language is not a medium that helps us see the true, the real, the natural. Language is a tool assembled by creatures with “no way” trying to make a world that will satisfy their needs; it is a tool those same creatures can disassemble if it fails them.”

“As such, he is sometimes the messenger of the gods and sometimes the guide of souls, carrying the dead into the underworld or opening the tomb to release them when they must walk among us.”

“Trickster is among other things the gatekeeper who opens the door into the next world; those who mistake him for a psychopath never even know such a door exists.”

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Book Keywords:

story, inspiration, writing, shame, power-of-speech, silence, speech, non-fiction, intellectual, ideal-world, evil, change, shameless, fiction, poverty, richness, grandiosity

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