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.

Book cover: “Deracination”"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

Additional Information:

Purchase details:

ISBN Softcover: 0-7914-4834-7, State University of New York Press
phone – (607) 277-2211
email – orderbook@cupserv.org
visit – Amazon.com

Excerpt:

Chapter Four: “The Psyche That Dropped the Bomb”

Related work:

The Holocaust Memorial: A Play about Hiroshima, amazon.com
Excerpts: Act I, Scene 2, Act II, Scenes 2 & 3<-->

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments  xiii
Preface  xv
OneTHE WAY TO HIROSHIMA   1
TwoCUTTING BACK INTO LIFE  25
ThreeTHE SUBLIME AND THE KANTIAN RATIO, OR, HOW THE WHITE MAN THINKS  47
FourTHE PSYCHE THAT DROPPED THE BOMB  99
FiveFROM ENTHUSIASM TO MELANCHOLIA AS SIGN OF HISTORY: OR, REFLECTION FROM KANT TO HAMLET 151
SixTHOSE 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
Notes 243
Index 293