Intuition and the Creation of a Better World

Hyde, Lewis

We … rightly speak of intuition or inspiration as a gift. As the artist works, some portion of his creation is bestowed upon him. An idea pops into his head, a tune begins to play, a phrase comes to mind, a color falls in place on the canvas. Usually, in fact, the artist does not find himself engaged or exhilarated by the work, nor does it seem authentic, until this gratuitous element has appeared, so that along with any true creation comes the uncanny sense that “I,” the artist, did not make the work. “Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me,” says D. H. Lawrence. Not all artists emphasize the “gift” phase of their creations to the degree that Lawrence does, but all artists feel it.

Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property , p. xii. NY, Vintage, 1983

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