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Reinventing the Sublime: Post-Romantic Literature and Theory / Steven, Vine

Pages: 1 - 201

Swansea University Author: Steven, Vine

Abstract

The book examines mutations of the sublime in Romantic, modern and postmodern texts, and the return of the sublime in recent critical and cultural theory. For the Romantics, the sublime confirmed and prostrated the self by confronting it with what the self could not surmount; the book begins by argu...

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Published: Sussex Academic Press Brighton 2013
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa17971
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Abstract: The book examines mutations of the sublime in Romantic, modern and postmodern texts, and the return of the sublime in recent critical and cultural theory. For the Romantics, the sublime confirmed and prostrated the self by confronting it with what the self could not surmount; the book begins by arguing that Blake, Mary Shelley and Thomas De Quincey present a sublime that does not underwrite the self, but puts it into anxious relationship to matter, time and power. It argues that the modernists locate the sublime not in embattled subjectivity, but elusive alterity: T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf and Djuna Barnes face the excess of the modern in a language of intensity, disjunction and elusiveness. The final part of the book contends that the historical conditions of capital, the Shoah and slavery engender a postmodern sublime of temporality, and that Thomas Pynchon, D.M. Thomas and Toni Morrison dramatize the exorbitance of the ‘event.’ Throughout, the sublime is read as a language of ‘invention’ – taking the Latin meaning of to ‘come upon,’ ‘find,’ ‘discover’ – that involves an encounter with the surprising or unknown, and submits meaning and selfhood to reinvention.
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Start Page: 1
End Page: 201