Art History Unstuffed. Jean-François Lyotard and the Sublime, Part Three

Art History Unstuffed

“Jean-François Lyotard and the Sublime, Part Three” posted on May 30, 2014

This third section of the Sublime discusses how the experience of the sublime eludes any attempts at definition. Often compared to the Beautiful, the sublime is not a positive condition but is an example of the negative.

Above all else, the Sublime is Negative, it always eludes reason, imagination and understanding. The Sublime is on the wrong side of pleasure but in its very novelty or rarity, this overwhelming feeling fascinates some philosophers precisely because of its abject state for formlessness. This awakening interest in the Sublime is new, fueled undoubtedly by certain “sublime” events, such as the discovery of the concentrations camps and mass industrialized death and the dropping of two atomic bombs upon cities of civilians, and, more recently, September 11th.

 Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette

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