Deracination: Historicity, Hiroshima, and the Tragic Imperative
A demonstration of how artistic cognition can be used to interrogate and transform a particular discipline — in this case History — thereby liberating a knowledge of its subject which that discipline has thus far been unable to attain. In opening history to the demands of the traumatic and the tragic, a complex psychoanalytic relationship is revealed as the actual condition informing the relationship of historians to their subject. Which is why Hiroshima remains the repressed of the American historical collective unconscious and why a study of Hiroshima issues in a new theory of the psyche and its fundamental discontents. Moreover, that understanding is not based on any of the currently available and officially endorsed theories of the psyche. On the contrary, it reveals their limitations and contradictions.
"What Davis' book offers is the prospect of transforming our way of thinking, feeling, and all associated cultural practices. The attack that Davis mounts on the practices of history that have dominated the last 400 hundred years of Western culture is more insidious and promising, more radical and more dangerous than anything I, personally, have so far read on this subject."
♦ Chris McMahon, Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness
"Deracination represents a major achievement in the philosophy of history and in philosophy as such. Davis is perhaps the first thinker to recognize fully the priority that one must give to aesthetic experience if one is to engage authentically the traumatic dimension of the historical event. These aspects of the work represent major — even revolutionary — contributions to contemporary critical theory. This is a work that cannot be ignored and that should be at this moment changing the very way that we relate to history."
♦ Todd McGowan, Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society
"Its scope and depth require careful reading for assimilation of its many insights and explications of current issues in philosophy, criticism, psychoanalysis, and literature. I commend your effort to move Hiroshima back into the center of contemporary critical — and existential — concerns and I envy the sureness of your touch in trying to depose conceptual thinking in favor of the (dialetical) image. I expect to be spending much of the remaining summer wrestling with this book."
♦ Hayden White, letter to the author
Chapter Four: “The Psyche That Dropped the Bomb”
Table of Contents:
|One||THE WAY TO HIROSHIMA||1|
|Two||CUTTING BACK INTO LIFE||25|
|Three||THE SUBLIME AND THE KANTIAN RATIO, OR, HOW THE WHITE MAN THINKS||47|
|Four||THE PSYCHE THAT DROPPED THE BOMB||99|
|Five||FROM ENTHUSIASM TO MELANCHOLIA AS SIGN OF HISTORY: OR, REFLECTION FROM KANT TO HAMLET||151|
|Six||THOSE IMAGES THAT YET FRESH IMAGES BEGET||193|
|APPENDIX A||Twelve Theses on the Philosophy of History||235|
|APPENDIX B||Toward Concrete Dialectics: History, Psychology, Aesthetic Ontology||237|