Maniacal Laughter

I've always really liked the title to Davis' work Breaking Up [at] Totality for its playfulness and visual pun (follow the link to see the cover). Of course, I also enjoy the Gorgian-Cixiousian sentiment of the book: laughing in the face of the world's [in]sanity. I have a student reading Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals this semester, and so I am reading it as well. I like to think of Davis' title along side Nietzsche's clear description of his "gay science":

For cheerfulness--or in my own language gay science--is a reward: the reward of a long, brave, industrious, and subterranean seriousness, of which, to be sure, not everyone is capable.

Those of us who enjoy critical questioning (whether in the tradition of American novelists or French theorists or Buddhist spiritualists or Greek sophists, Casey?) know that not everyone enjoys cracking up [social institutions, traditional ideas of morality, progressive visions, ideological assurances, cultural predilections, the self]. Not everyone sees deconstruction as positively as Nietzsche frames it in the opening aphorisms of his Genealogy: as opening the (re)inventive possibility.

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