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TRICKSTER MAKES THIS WORLD PDF

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Editorial Reviews. From Kirkus Reviews. A model of rangy, creative, but not far- fetched interpretation, in this case of a common mythological archetype, the shifty . In Trickster Makes This World, Lewis Hyde brings to life the playful and disruptive side of human imagination as it is embodied in trickster mythology. He first. Trickster Makes This World by Lewis Hyde; 3 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Arts, Mythology, Tricksters, Trickster, Mythologie, Oplichting, Kunst.


Trickster Makes This World Pdf

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TRICKSTER MAKES THIS WORLD: Mischief, Myth, and Art as The Gift but takes up the mythic figure of the Trickster -- Coyote, Hermes, Loki, Eshu, Krishna, . Trickster makes this world: mischief, myth, and art. byHyde Trickster and gender -- Appendix III. Monkey Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files . Trickster makes this world: mischief, myth and art. byHyde, Lewis For print- disabled users. Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files.

One thing draws together these various readings: in each, Raven comes down to this world. In heaven there are beings who do not eat; in this lower world of stomachs and fish there are mortals who eat constantly.

The trickster Raven is a mixture, the shining boy plus appetite, a being of considerable power who is unable to satiate his hunger.

When you are hungry, cut off a little of her fat with your flint knife. Rub ashes on the wound. The cut will heal. This way, you will have meat forever. He took the buffalo cow with him back over the mountains. Whenever he was hungry he would cut away a little fat and then heal the wound with ashes as Buffalo Bull had said.

But after a while he got tired of the fat. He wanted to taste the bone marrow and some fresh liver. By this time he had crossed the plains and was back in his own country. He will never know. When he pulled off her hide crows and magpies came.

When Coyote tried to chase them off, more came. Even more came, until they had eaten all the meat. As a consequence, the plenitude of things is inexorably diminished. Hunger devours the ideal, and trickster suffers. There seem to be only two options: limited food or limited appetite. Coyote, unable to choose the latter, has the former forced upon him. Such is one common plot in the mythology of tricksters.

In the course of the story, however, these bizarre organs are reduced and rearranged until trickster looks more or less like a human being. In the episode concerning his intestines, trickster has caught some ducks and set them roasting. If you notice any people, drive them off. They have caused my appetite to be disappointed, those covetous fellows! And you, too [he says to his anus], you despicable object, what about your behavior?

Did I not tell you to watch this fire? You shall remember this! As a punishment for your remissness, I will burn your mouth so that you will not be able to use it! This is too much! I have made my skin smart. Is it not for such things that they call me Trickster? Radin was an anthropologist with a doctorate from Columbia University. He lived and worked with the Winnebago in Wisconsin for many years, and his commentary places their trickster cycle in its cultural contest with great finesse.

Then he picked up a piece of fat and ate it. It had a delicious taste. After burning his anus, his intestines had contracted and fallen off, piece by piece, and these pieces were the things he was picking up. Correctly, indeed, am I named Foolish One, Trickster! A large part, however, had been lost. But late in the cycle he hears a voice teasing him about how strange his penis looks. He becomes self-conscious about the weird shape of his body, and begins to rearrange himself, placing his penis and testicles where they belong on the human body.

At the same time, he is angered by the teasing voice, which turns out to come from a chipmunk. When the chipmunk runs into a hollow tree, trickster sends his penis in after it. So he took out his penis and probed the hollow tree with it. He could not, however, reach the end of the hole.

Trickster Makes This World

So he took some more of his penis and probed again, but again he was unable to reach the end of the hole.

So he unwound more and more of his penis and probed still deeper, yet all to no avail. Finally he took what still remained, emptying the entire box, and probed and probed but still he could not reach the end of the hole. At last he sat up on a log and probed as far as he could, but still he was unable to reach the end. He does not do this intentionally, but nonetheless it is a kind of self-sacrifice. You contemptible thing I will repay you for this! There he found the chipmunk and flattened him out, and there, too, to his horror he discovered his penis all gnawed up.

But why do I speak thus? I will make objects out of the pieces for human beings to use. In many tales when trickster loses his intestines they, too, become plants that humans can eat.

Such foods are a mixed blessing, giving rise to hunger even as they satisfy it. To end our craving we must eat the organs of craving, and craving then returns. T he general point here is that a trickster will be less ridden by lust and hunger if his organs of appetite have been whittled away. In this case, trickster simply suffers the loss; it happens to him. He may benefit from it, but the benefit is accidental, not a fruit of his own cunning or design.

But perhaps the accident leads to the cunning. That is to say, just as trickster may acquire his trapping wits as a consequence of having been trapped, so the suffering that trickster endures from his unrestrained appetites may lead to some consciousness in regard to those appetites.

I say this because, however one might imagine the connection, there are trickster tales in which a limit to appetite is intended rather than accidental. If so, rather than understanding the toothed vagina as an image of horrific castration, we could take it as an image for the conversion of crippling desire into appropriate desire.

If we turn to the Homeric Greek tradition, we will find a similar pattern, though somewhat differently elaborated. After singing a song about himself on this instrument, Hermes lays it aside. For Hermes longed to eat meat. And the frank declaration of carnivorous desire in the Homeric Hymn makes it clear that this Greek trickster is a cousin to Coyote, as does a later remark that Apollo makes when he finally catches his thieving brother.

But the plot of this particular story differs in one significant detail.

Trickster makes this world : mischief, myth, and art

The crucial scene occurs after Hermes has led the stolen cattle to a barn near the river Alpheus. Having kindled a fire in a trench, Hermes drags two of the cows from the barn and butchers them. He cut up the richly marbled flesh and skewered it on wooden spits; he roasted all of it—the muscle and the prized sirloin and the darkblooded belly—and laid the spits out on the ground. Next he gladly drew the dripping chunks of meat from the spits, spread them on a stone, and divided them into twelve portions distributed by lot, making each one exactly right.

The Hymn to Hermes was probably written down around B. My own translation of this hymn appears in the first appendix at the end of the book. There are twelve Olympian gods and Hermes is one of slipping the trap of appetite 33 And glorious Hermes longed to eat that sacrificial meat. The sweet smell weakened him, god though he was; and yet, much as his mouth watered, his proud heart would not let him eat. Later he took the fat and all the flesh and stored them in that ample barn, setting them high up as a token of his youthful theft.

That done, he gathered dry sticks and let the fire devour, absolutely, the hooves of the cattle, and their heads. And when the god had finished, he threw his sandals into the deep pooling Alpheus. He quenched the embers and spread sand over the black ashes. And so the night went by under the bright light of the moon. Here, then, is a meat-thief trickster who does not eat at an ordinary Greek sacrifice, by the way, those who conducted the rite would eat; Hermes is doing something unusual.

Why should we be the only gods who never eat the fruits of sacrifice and prayer? Better always to live in the company of other deathless ones—rich, glamorous, enjoying heaps of grain—than forever to sit by ourselves in a gloomy cave.

In deciding not to eat meat, Hermes is preparing himself to be an Olympian. To eat meat is to be confined to the mortal realm, and Hermes has higher goals.

Here he includes himself in the sacrifice so as to stake his claim. Against the rules he stole a cow and killed it, as Coyote did, but having violated that limit he imposes another in its stead. In this story, then, we see a meat-thief intelligence setting a limit to appetite and by so doing avoiding death, the hook hidden in that meat.

Nonetheless, if we set the Hymn in the context of other trickster tales the claim becomes more plausible. Another example, the one that will help us see Hermes in context, appears in the story of that other Greek trickster, Prometheus.

Both Prometheus and Hermes dream up clever tricks to change their relationship to meat, but Hermes turns out to be the more cunning of the two, for Prometheus is a little slow to figure out where the dangers of appetite really lie. As the ancients tell the tale, Prometheus and Zeus got into a fight toward the end of the Golden Age.

In the Golden Age, humankind neither grew old quickly nor died in pain, but they were nonetheless mortal and perhaps Prometheus wished them immortality. In any event, he and Zeus got into a dispute that focused on which parts of a slaughtered ox the gods would eat and which would be food for human mouths. Zeus was not deceived, however; he could see beneath the surfaces of the Promethean shell game. With both hands he took up the white fat.

It leads to much more, as well, which should be mentioned briefly. For Hesiod, that earliest of misogynists, it is Pandora who really brought an end to the all-male Golden Age club, for with her came sexual reproduction, sickness, insanity, vice, and toil.

After Prometheus, humans have fire and meat; they also age quickly and die in pain. I f we now look closely at the way in which Prometheus apportions the slaughtered ox, we will see that he is in fact a witless trickster here, abandoned by his fabled foresight.

Not unlike Coyote, who gets too caught up in hunger to escape from it, Prometheus fails to perceive the true meaning of the portions he so carefully arranges.

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To see that meaning, to see what Zeus apparently sees, it helps to know that for the Greeks the bones stand for immortality. They are the undying essence, what does not decay they are, for example, what was preserved when the Greeks cremated a body. Conversely, in all ancient Greek literature the belly stands for needy, shameless, inexorable, overriding appetite.

It always arouses us, obliges us not to forget it, even at the height of our troubles and anguish. Prometheus tries to be a cunning encoder of images, but Zeus is a more cunning reader, and the meat trick backfires. The story of Promethean sacrifice, then, is not one in which a hungry trickster sacrifices appetite or intestines but one in which, as a result of a foolish trick, human beings get stuck with endless hunger as their portion.

Like the tale of Raven eating the shin scabs, it is a story of the origin of appetite, and of descent. After Prometheus, humans are snared in their own hunger, a trap in which they quickly age and die. Prometheus does not suffer that human fate himself, nor does he become an insatiable eater like Raven, but Zeus binds him to a rock where an eagle eternally devours his liver—each night the liver grows back, each day the eagle eats it again.

In his own way, then, Prometheus suffers from unremitting hunger, as do humans—and Raven. To answer, it helps to know that, in the culture from which Prometheus and Hermes come, sacrifice is ritual apportionment. Or—another example—priests cooked and ate the viscera of a sacrificed animal; it was at once their portion in fact and a symbol of their place in the community.

The way the Greeks divided an animal made a map of the way their community was divided. If you saw someone eating the thigh of an ox, you could assume he was a high magistrate of the city. Whatever trickster pulls this trick does not initially invent sacrifice, therefore; first he invents the trick of reapportionment, some sleight of hand by which the thigh of an ox ends up on the plate of a slave.

In the case of Prometheus, the trick backfires humans get the meat and their lot in life becomes more grim ; in the case of Hermes, the trick works he refuses the meat and his lot improves.

In both cases, though, there is a change of apportionment and a form of sacrifice emerges that memorializes both the trick and its consequences, the new order of things. We can now give a general shape to this material on the sacrifice of appetite, and link it to the earlier discussion of traps. Moreover, trickster walks the path between high and low descending into hunger at the end of the Raven and Prometheus stories; ascending and restraining hunger in the Hymn to Hermes and the opening of the Raven story.

On this path between high and low we also find sacrifice. Now let us return to the idea that trickster intelligence arises from the tension between predators and prey. In the Greek case, the foods identified with heaven satisfy an appetite shed of its usual, odious baggage: old age, sickness, and death.

These stories imagine a final escape from the eating game in which, beyond the edge of predator-prey relationships, immortal eaters feast on heavenly foods and never themselves become a meal for worms or for time.

As I have been suggesting, in these tales of sacrifice a hook is hidden in the meat portion: mortality itself.

Hermes avoids it. He changes the eating game by inventing a sacrificial rite in which he forgoes the meat and, more important, his own desire for meat. Figuratively, to slip the trap of appetite he sacrifices the organ of that appetite, his odious belly. So, although the Hymn contains no direct declaration in this regard, I think it is correct to say that Hermes invents the art of sacrifice and that he does so out of a struggle over appetite.

Hermes does the same thing, if eating the meat means becoming mortal. But for those with actual bellies, such restraint is only a partial solution. Let us say, then, that wise-to-the-bait Hermes is a bait thief as well. Raven, remember, figures out how to eat the fat and avoid the hook. Publication date Topics Tricksters , Mythology , Arts , Tricksters in literature. Publisher Edinburgh: Collection inlibrary ; printdisabled ; internetarchivebooks ; delawarecountydistrictlibrary ; china ; americana.

Digitizing sponsor Internet Archive. Contributor Internet Archive. Language English. Originally published: New York: Bookplateleaf Boxid IA City Edinburgh. Containerid S Donor bostonpubliclibrary.

Scabs bespeak some kind of rough contact with the world. They follow wounds, and are the healing of wounds. As we heal, we slough them off; as such, they are a kind of bodily excrement. They are also a kind of fruiting, flesh producing flesh out of itself, a strange fruit to be sure, but one that is actually eaten in this case.

It is a widespread motif in this mythology that once upon a time we humans did not have to work for our food every morning there was a bowl of hot acorn mush outside the lodge , but then trickster came along, did something foolish, and now we must labor.

Because scabs are linked with wounds, they may also indicate that Raven is born of woundedness. But what wound is there in this tale? Remember that the father here hopes to keep his son from all harm, and that his hopes are twice defeated, once when the boy dies and once again.

Finally, if scabs are a kind of excrement, perhaps the story means that Raven comes to life where the body sheds its wastes. Ravens, in fact, will eat excrement, and the mythology is full of scatological episodes. There is a circularity to eating here which suggests that, at some level, eating is self-eating, or that all who eat in this world must eventually themselves be eaten. Here it should be noted that there is some natural history woven into this story.

When hunters kill an animal in the woods they typically gut it on the spot, then carry the carcass home; later, ravens will come to eat the guts and coyotes and wolves will follow, drawn by the ravens. Raven is said to have told the Athabascan Indians that they would be able to catch deer if they would leave the guts for him to feed on each time the game is killed; elsewhere, the entrails of the kill are left as a gift to Coyote.

Each case presents an image of appetite eating the organs of appetite. One thing draws together these various readings: In heaven there are beings who do not eat; in this lower world of stomachs and fish there are mortals who eat constantly. The trickster Raven is a mixture, the shining boy plus appetite, a being of considerable power who is unable to satiate his hunger. To take a case in point, in a Native American Colville story Coyote has made a new pair of horns for Old Buffalo Bull and in gratitude Buffalo gives Coyote a magic cow and a little advice: When you are hungry, cut off a little of her fat with your flint knife.

Rub ashes on the wound. The cut will heal. This way, you will have meat forever. He took the buffalo cow with him back over the mountains. Whenever he was hungry he would cut away a little fat and then heal the wound with ashes as Buffalo Bull had said.

But after a while he got tired of the fat. He wanted to taste the bone marrow and some fresh liver. By this time he had crossed the plains and was back in his own country.

He will never know. When he pulled off her hide crows and magpies came. When Coyote tried to chase them off, more came. Even more came, until they had eaten all the meat. The plot is typical: As a consequence, the plenitude of things is inexorably diminished.

Hunger devours the ideal, and trickster suffers. There seem to be only two options: Coyote, unable to choose the latter, has the former forced upon him. Such is one common plot in the mythology of tricksters. But this mythology always seems to go in two directions at once, and so at times we find the opposite plot as well, one in which trickster has limits to appetite forced upon him.

In the course of the story, however, these bizarre organs are reduced and rearranged until trickster looks more or less like a human being. In the episode concerning his intestines, trickster has caught some ducks and set them roasting. He plans to nap while they cook, but before settling down he addresses his anus: If you notice any people, drive them off.

When trickster awakes he discovers the meat is gone and cries out: They have caused my appetite to be disappointed, those covetous fellows! And you, too [he says to his anus], you despicable object, what about your behavior? Did I not tell you to watch this fire? You shall remember this! As a punishment for your remissness, I will burn your mouth so that you will not be able to use it! This is too much! I have made my skin smart.

Is it not for such things that they call me Trickster? A Study in American Indian Mythology Radin was an anthropologist with a doctorate from Columbia University. He lived and worked with the Winnebago in Wisconsin for many years, and his commentary places their trickster cycle in its cultural contest with great finesse.

Then he picked up a piece of fat and ate it. It had a delicious taste.

After burning his anus, his intestines had contracted and fallen off, piece by piece, and these pieces were the things he was picking up. Correctly, indeed, am I named Foolish One, Trickster! A large part, however, had been lost. But late in the cycle he hears a voice teasing him about how strange his penis looks. He becomes self-conscious about the weird shape of his body, and begins to rearrange himself, placing his penis and testicles where they belong on the human body.

At the same time, he is angered by the teasing voice, which turns out to come from a chipmunk. When the chipmunk runs into a hollow tree, trickster sends his penis in after it. So he took out his penis and probed the hollow tree with it. He could not, however, reach the end of the hole.

So he took some more of his penis and probed again, but again he was unable to reach the end of the hole. So he unwound more and more of his penis and probed still deeper, yet all to no avail. Finally he took what still remained, emptying the entire box, and probed and probed but still he could not reach the end of the hole. At last he sat up on a log and probed as far as he could, but still he was unable to reach the end.

Trickster eats his own intestines. He does not do this intentionally, but nonetheless it is a kind of self-sacrifice. You contemptible thing I will repay you for this! There he found the chipmunk and flattened him out, and there, too, to his horror he discovered his penis all gnawed up. But why do I speak thus? I will make objects out of the pieces for human beings to use. In many tales when trickster loses his intestines they, too, become plants that humans can eat.

Such foods are a mixed blessing, giving rise to hunger even as they satisfy it. To end our craving we must eat the organs of craving, and craving then returns.

In this case, trickster simply suffers the loss; it happens to him. He may benefit from it, but the benefit is accidental, not a fruit of his own cunning or design. But perhaps the accident leads to the cunning. That is to say, just as trickster may acquire his trapping wits as a consequence of having been trapped, so the suffering that trickster endures from his unrestrained appetites may lead to some consciousness in regard to those appetites.

I say this because, however one might imagine the connection, there are trickster tales in which a limit to appetite is intended rather than accidental.

In fact, we have already seen such a moment: This could be read as a strange version of the vagina-dentata motif which does occasionally appear in trickster stories. If so, rather than understanding the toothed vagina as an image of horrific castration, we could take it as an image for the conversion of crippling desire into appropriate desire.

If we turn to the Homeric Greek tradition, we will find a similar pattern, though somewhat differently elaborated. After singing a song about himself on this instrument, Hermes lays it aside. For Hermes longed to eat meat. And the frank declaration of carnivorous desire in the Homeric Hymn makes it clear that this Greek trickster is a cousin to Coyote, as does a later remark that Apollo makes when he finally catches his thieving brother.

But the plot of this particular story differs in one significant detail. The crucial scene occurs after Hermes has led the stolen cattle to a barn near the river Alpheus.

Having kindled a fire in a trench, Hermes drags two of the cows from the barn and butchers them.

He cut up the richly marbled flesh and skewered it on wooden spits; he roasted all of it—the muscle and the prized sirloin and the darkblooded belly—and laid the spits out on the ground. Next he gladly drew the dripping chunks of meat from the spits, spread them on a stone, and divided them into twelve portions distributed by lot, making each one exactly right.

The Hymn to Hermes was probably written down around B. My own translation of this hymn appears in the first appendix at the end of the book. There are twelve Olympian gods and Hermes is one of. And glorious Hermes longed to eat that sacrificial meat. The sweet smell weakened him, god though he was; and yet, much as his mouth watered, his proud heart would not let him eat. Later he took the fat and all the flesh and stored them in that ample barn, setting them high up as a token of his youthful theft.

That done, he gathered dry sticks and let the fire devour, absolutely, the hooves of the cattle, and their heads. And when the god had finished, he threw his sandals into the deep pooling Alpheus. He quenched the embers and spread sand over the black ashes.

And so the night went by under the bright light of the moon. Here, then, is a meat-thief trickster who does not eat at an ordinary Greek sacrifice, by the way, those who conducted the rite would eat; Hermes is doing something unusual.

As he himself says to his mother after returning from his night of crime: Why should we be the only gods who never eat the fruits of sacrifice and prayer?

Better always to live in the company of other deathless ones—rich, glamorous, enjoying heaps of grain—than forever to sit by ourselves in a gloomy cave. In deciding not to eat meat, Hermes is preparing himself to be an Olympian. To eat meat is to be confined to the mortal realm, and Hermes has higher goals. Here he includes himself in the sacrifice so as to stake his claim. Against the rules he stole a cow and killed it, as Coyote did, but having violated that limit he imposes another in its stead.

In this story, then, we see a meat-thief intelligence setting a limit to appetite and by so doing avoiding death, the hook hidden in that meat.

Nonetheless, if we set the Hymn in the context of other trickster tales the claim becomes more plausible. Another example, the one that will help us see Hermes in context, appears in the story of that other Greek trickster, Prometheus. Both Prometheus and Hermes dream up clever tricks to change their relationship to meat, but Hermes turns out to be the more cunning of the two, for Prometheus is a little slow to figure out where the dangers of appetite really lie.

As the ancients tell the tale, Prometheus and Zeus got into a fight toward the end of the Golden Age. Allen in The Homeric Hymns: In the Golden Age, humankind neither grew old quickly nor died in pain, but they were nonetheless mortal and perhaps Prometheus wished them immortality. In any event, he and Zeus got into a dispute that focused on which parts of a slaughtered ox the gods would eat and which would be food for human mouths.

Prometheus divided the ox into two portions, and because Zeus was to have first choice, he disguised them: Zeus was not deceived, however; he could see beneath the surfaces of the Promethean shell game. Hesiod writes: With both hands he took up the white fat. It leads to much more, as well, which should be mentioned briefly. For Hesiod, that earliest of misogynists, it is Pandora who really brought an end to the all-male Golden Age club, for with her came sexual reproduction, sickness, insanity, vice, and toil.

After Prometheus, humans have fire and meat; they also age quickly and die in pain. Not unlike Coyote, who gets too caught up in hunger to escape from it, Prometheus fails to perceive the true meaning of the portions he so carefully arranges.

To see that meaning, to see what Zeus apparently sees, it helps to know that for the Greeks the bones stand for immortality. They are the undying essence, what does not decay they are, for example, what was preserved when the Greeks cremated a body.

Conversely, in all ancient Greek literature the belly stands for needy, shameless, inexorable, overriding appetite. In this. At one point in the Odyssey, Odysseus exclaims: It always arouses us, obliges us not to forget it, even at the height of our troubles and anguish. Prometheus tries to be a cunning encoder of images, but Zeus is a more cunning reader, and the meat trick backfires.

The story of Promethean sacrifice, then, is not one in which a hungry trickster sacrifices appetite or intestines but one in which, as a result of a foolish trick, human beings get stuck with endless hunger as their portion. Like the tale of Raven eating the shin scabs, it is a story of the origin of appetite, and of descent.

After Prometheus, humans are snared in their own hunger, a trap in which they quickly age and die. Prometheus does not suffer that human fate himself, nor does he become an insatiable eater like Raven, but Zeus binds him to a rock where an eagle eternally devours his liver—each night the liver grows back, each day the eagle eats it again. In his own way, then, Prometheus suffers from unremitting hunger, as do humans—and Raven. To answer, it helps to know that, in the culture from which Prometheus and Hermes come, sacrifice is ritual apportionment.

Or—another example—priests cooked and ate the viscera of a sacrificed animal; it was at once their portion in fact and a symbol of their place in the community.

The way the Greeks divided an animal made a map of the way their community was divided.

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If you saw someone eating the thigh of an ox, you could assume he was a high magistrate of the city. In such a system, when people imagine the first sacrifice they will also be imagining an original apportioning.

Whatever trickster pulls this trick does not initially invent sacrifice, therefore; first he invents the trick of reapportionment, some sleight of hand by which the thigh of an ox ends up on the plate of a slave.The trickster Raven is a mixture, the shining boy plus appetite, a being of considerable power who is unable to satiate his hunger.

Not Enabled Word Wise: Linked Data More info about Linked Data. Hyde is known for ranging around, but this is some kind of personal thing he obviously had to work through, and heaven help the reader.

The slave man cut a bit of whale meat and put a small scab in it. The worm just sits there; the fish catches himself.

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