Category Archives: Gift

The End

Baudelaire’s gift (170-172) Derrida ends Given Time, signalling the unknowability of the secret of what either Baudelaire, the narrator or the friend meant to say or do, in Counterfeit Money, through his repeated use of “perhaps,” as the condition under … Continue reading

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Art as Gift Symposium – notice

Saturday 13​th​ May Lace Market Gallery 25 Stoney Street, Nottingham, NG1 1LP Talk, discussion and performance featuring artist and critic Peter Suchin (Art Monthly) and performance artist Annette Foster. Doors open 10:30 am, talk 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, performance … 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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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 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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The Economics of Poetry

Economic registers of the poetics of tobacco (GT 109-112) As a sumptuary product, i.e. luxurious – essentially wasteful, one could be tempted to think tobacco outside the economic cycle, resistance to this idea is possible in terms of several “registers” of … 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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What is Given in Baudelaire’s Counterfeit Money?

Derrida’s concepts of “text” and “trace” (GT, 99-102) Towards the conclusion of chapter 3 of Given Time, Derrida, after many detours, approaches the text of Counterfeit Money, asking “how is the question of the gift and the dative posed in … Continue reading

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Reading Counterfeit Money: 5. The Text Machine

This text, then, is also the piece, perhaps a piece of counterfeit money, that is, a machine for provoking events Given Time, 96 Background An incorruptible taste for refinement, paradox, and aporia Jacques Derrida’s Given Time is a work which … Continue reading

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Reading Counterfeit Money: 3. The Dedication

A topological analysis (GT, pp. 87-88) Baudelaire’s Counterfeit Money was published as part of Le Spleen de Paris in 1855. Derrida uses the book’s spatiality, its topos to analyse the book’s dedication, one of the borders that, along with the title, … Continue reading

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