I'm reading Lewis Hyde's The Gift, and it's great - deeper and denser than most of what I read, which is why I can't really say much about it now, except to recommend it to anyone who's interested in the creative commons or the worth and/or value of art, and to quote this tidbit (one of many I've been marking to share), from the section on Walt Whitman:
To be "enthusiastic" originally meant to be possessed by a god or inspired by a divine afflatus. The bacchants and maenads were enthusiasts, as were the prophets of the Old Testament, the apostles of the New, or, more recently, Shakers and Pentecostal Christians. Enthusiasts, having received a spirit into the body, have never been hesitant to describe their spiritual knowledge in terms of the flesh, to speak of "a sweet burning in the heart" or of a "ravished soul." Whitman is no exception....And, a little further down:
Enthusiasm has recurrently fallen into disrepute because there have always been those who claim they are filled with the spirit when they are only full of hot air.