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

ISBN-10: 0806126574

ISBN-13: 9780806126579

ISBN-10: 0806126590

ISBN-13: 9780806126593

ISBN-10: 0806171596

ISBN-13: 9780806171593

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It would be impossible to overestimate the importance of these distinctions for a sociosymbolic analysis of historical phenomena, or for a hermeneutic approach, more particularly one based on an analysis of the status of exchange (in the generalized sense implied by a broad conception of communication). It would seem that Marx missed his chance here to produce a more subtle, nonreductive theory of the links between exchange and social consciousnesseven if he did recognize the "theological subtleties" implicated in the analysis of the money form.

Strouvilhou, in whose mouth Gide places unanswerable Nietzschean utterances, hates the gregariousness of language, whatever tilts the meanings of words toward what is common, average, middling, statistical, meantoward the perspective of the herd. * Gide's Strouvilhou does not promise to release into circulation a new treasury of significationsfrom some new poetic gold rush, revealing rich deposits in the yet-unexplored recesses of the soul. With the promissory notes that are words, there is no way of enforcing the promise to pay, of increasing confidence in the existence of a gold backing to guarantee payment when due.

Authentic individual significations can never be completely negotiated on the trivial language market, but are necessarily held back in the innermost private treasure chest; or else they can be metabolized only in a foreign transaction, over the heads of the individual's everyday others, in a place that cannot fall for the illusion of false money: it is somewhat surprising to what degree this enigmatic arrangement in the economy of signifiers dovetails with a more general logic of exchange. If what we call the Unconscious and what we call the Other exist, it is perhaps because, by virtue of a law that rules signifying exchange as imperiously as it does political economy, bad money drives out good; that is, among individually experienced significations, it is by definition always and only the least that can actually serve as general equivalent in common circulation.

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


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