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The Gifted Presence of Intruder in the Dust

The Gifted Presence of Intruder in the Dust

(p.169) The Gifted Presence of Intruder in the Dust
Faulkner and Money
Michael Wainwright
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on Intruder in the Dust (1948), which reasserted Faulkner's literary presence, helping to secure him the Nobel Prize for Literature. In addition to the esteem of this award, the prize carried a substantial honorarium, which secured Faulkner's financial future. As Intruder in the Dust suggests, however, this combination of rewards is unstable: while the conferral of esteem engages the economy of the gift, the transfer of capital engages the economy of money. Jacques Derrida, whose Given Time (1992) capitalizes on the notion and possibilities of the gift, confirms this instability: each economy describes a figure of circulation, but unlike the economy of money, the economy of the gift demands neither exchange nor reimbursement; indeed, the attempted transference of the gift seems to annul that very gift. Intriguingly, when analyzed from this Derridean perspective, Intruder in the Dust sees beyond Derrida's reductive fixation with the horizon of exchange.

Keywords:   Jacques Derrida, figure of circulation, economy of the gift, economy of money, horizon of exchange

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