THE scholar and poet Lewis Hyde is a fascinating figure whose ideas about the unease of art in a market economy have developed him a cult following that includes figures like Zadie Smith, Michael Chabon and artist Bill Viola. (David Foster Wallace was also a big fan.)
Hyde's most famous and influential book -- with the possible exception of Tricker Makes the World -- is The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern Word. His new book, Common as Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership, is, says Gary Giddins in the new Bookforum, similar:
"It too, is concerned with creativity, sharing and communal property; it, too, is repetitive and larded with academic setups; it, too, peters out (Hyde has no gift for climax); and it, too, is indispensable."
Here it is.