Download The Coiners of Language by Jean-Joseph Goux (Editor) Translated by Jennifer Curtiss PDF

By Jean-Joseph Goux (Editor) Translated by Jennifer Curtiss Gage

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In the arabesques and counterpoints of the Protestant theme, the figure of the pastorlike those of the man of law and the elderly noblemanis placed under the sign of the problematic father. Here again the demonetization of paternity alludes to a fundamental collapse of transcendent values. Armand suspects his father, Pastor Vedel, of being false, of merely playing at being pastor, in a comedy of faith, a public performance of conviction. ". . What made you say just now that your father played the part of pastor?

The story obeys a monetary logic. < previous page page_23 next page > < previous page page_24 next page > Page 24 As if to reproduce this circuit of value on another level, the counterfeit coin affair develops. At this point, we are still in the realm of the "reality effect" produced by novelistic representation: a "real" counterfeiting operation is recounted in The Counterfeitersa plot that might be enough to justify the title, if this "real" counterfeiting did not, as it turns out, occupy such a marginal space in the interweaving of stories, and if this marginality were not accentuated by the counterfeiter's passing false coins virtually as a matter of child's play.

Nonmonetary tradepresents a case that is very different, as to the structure of the registers discussed above, from a society such as ancient Greece. Indeed, in the latter case, we encounter a moment in the evolution of exchanges in which the three functions of the general equivalent are simultaneously embodied in the same monetary object, while remaining distinct functions. The gold (or rather silver) coin fulfills all at once < previous page page_36 next page > < previous page page_37 next page > Page 37 (a) the archetypal function (it is identical to the archetype); (b) the token function (it circulates, it must be accepted in all transactions, it has a nominal value that is guaranteed by the state); and (c) the treasury or bullion function, since it retains in its substance an intrinsic value (which by right coincides with its nominal value, but which is in fact autonomous with respect to this nominal value, since when removed from circulation, whether kept as is or melted down, the coin retains this intrinsic value).

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