Journal or Book Title
Journal of Cultural Economy
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.
“The Liquid Life: Money and the Circulation of Success after Franklin.” Brad Pasanek and Simone Polillo, eds. Beyond Liquidity. Spec. iss. of Journal of Cultural Economy 4.3 (August 2011): 315-328.