Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-2011

Journal or Book Title

Journal of Cultural Economy

Volume

4

Issue

3

Abstract

What happens when the money form becomes a model for selfhood and social success? Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography posits a reciprocal relationship between the circulation of money and self. Self is expressed in Franklin’s memoirs in the form of money, through a formal configuration of narrative episodes modelled on Franklin’s own conception of the circulation of money. Through this representation, Franklin produces a historically novel way of formally accommodating the antagonisms of social inequality through narrative, of reconstituting conflict as controlled and industrious experiential diversity. Through a consideration of Franklin’s writings on credit and money, and an analysis of the narrative form of his autobiography, this article assesses the origins and persistence of the money-self nexus in modern times.

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