Historiographic perversion

Just began reading Marc Nichanian’s “Historiographic Perversion,” a collection of philosophical reflections by the French-Armenian philosopher and a former longtime professor of Armenian studies at Columbia University. The book begins by Nichanian’s powerful first salvo:

“Genocide is not a fact (Le genocide n’est pas un fait).

Genocide is not a fact because it is the very destruction of the fact, of the notion of fact, of the factuality of fact.”

I think I am going to like this book already.

Meanwhile it is available through the Columbia UP website with a 50% discount.

From the publisher’s release:

Genocide is a matter of law. It is also a matter of history. Engaging some of the most disturbing responses to the Armenian genocide, Marc Nichanian strikingly reveals the complex role played by law and history in making this and other genocides endure as contentious events.

Nichanian’s book argues that both law and history fail to contend with the very nature of events for which there is no archive (no documents, no witnesses). Both history and law fail to address the modern reality that events can be—and are now being—perpetrated that depend upon the destruction of the archive, turning monstrous deeds into nonevents. Genocide, this book makes us see, is in one sense the destruction of the archive. It relies on the historiographic perversion.

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