Category Archives: Counterfeit Money

The Judgment of Nature

Confessing an infinite debt (164-170) Derrida now focuses on the narrator’s refusal to give forgiveness to his friend, for doing “evil out of stupidity,” asking what does the narrator mean by such words? (165) The friend is not condemned for … Continue reading

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Three Motifs of Reverie

Taking time (157-163) Derrida continues his analysis of Counterfeit Money, pointing out that the narrator, at first, tries to make excusable what his friend has just confessed to him, i.e. that he gave the beggar a counterfeit coin. This search … Continue reading

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The Credit of Literature

The relationship between the narrator and the friend is uncertain, questionable, did the friend truly give counterfeit money or did he lie to his friend in a false confession? As Derrida says we will never know the answer to this … Continue reading

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The Antagonism of Friendship

The interaction between the two friends in Counterfeit Money is fraught with accusation, which leads to the friend justifying his action of seeming over-generosity by saying he had given a counterfeit coin. Derrida speculates on why the friend says this. … Continue reading

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The Pleasure of Surprise

In the story of Counterfeit Money the friend is judged by the narrator, but both are indicted by the appearance and look of the beggar to acquit themselves by sacrificing, i.e. to make a destructive gift to appease the gods, … Continue reading

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The Law of Alms

The demand of the beggar is the demand of the gods (137-142) “Generosity is an obligation because Nemesis avenges the poor and the gods for the superabundance of happiness and wealth of certain people.” (Mauss, 18) The beggar signifies the … Continue reading

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Two types of luck

Tukhhē and Automaton (133) When speaking of fortune Derrida calls upon the Aristotelian concept of tukhē over the linked concept of automaton. The former is a chance, read into the event in terms of its outcome, of its end, which … Continue reading

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On Nature and Production

Derrida (128) discusses the unity of fortune and nature, “fortune is nature” (126), expressed as the luck of the draw and what gives generously at birth, to the nascent being. Saying the alliance between these two dominates the narrator’s discourse … Continue reading

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The Fortunes of Counterfeit Money

A scene conditioned by fate and social advantage (125-127) The discourse of Counterfeit Money as a whole is marked by the aleatory, by chance, by fortune (tukhē). According to the narrator of the story the unforgivable action of his friend, … Continue reading

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The Luck of the Gift

The Unconditionality of the Gift and the Event (123) The event…the unique, the one-off, happening now and never to be repeated. Both the gift and the event must be unforeseeable and must be structured by the aleatory the “chancy,” apprehended … Continue reading

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The Narrative Structure of Counterfeit Money 2

What happens in the story happens to the narration (122) Derrida says that the effect of Counterfeit Money is that of an event that has taken place. This event is not the content of the story, that which the narrative … Continue reading

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The Narrative Structure of Counterfeit Money 1

The economic cycle of confession and unforgiveness (121) There is a structure of narrative relation between the friend and the narrator in Counterfeit Money. This is expressed in what the friend recounts to the narrator, “it was the counterfeit coin,” … Continue reading

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What is unforgiven in Counterfeit Money?

Betrayal and the Failure to Give (GT, 116-120) Baudelaire’s Counterfeit Money, overview The story is a first person account, in which the narrator and his friend encounter a beggar, to whom the friend gives a two-franc coin, before confessing, to … Continue reading

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Why Counterfeit Money is a story of tobacco

A risky promenade (GT, 114-115) Derrida characterises his approach to Counterfeit Money, and his numerous digressions leading up to the final chapter, as a “risky promenade,” one which reflects the journey of the two friends in Baudelaire’s story.(114) He then … Continue reading

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What is Tobacco?

a dissemination that destines the text to depart in ashes or go up in smoke (GT, 102) The place from which Counterfeit Money, as a scene of gift and counterfeit money, departs, is a tobacco shop, a sign of the … Continue reading

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