Solitude and the Sublime: Romanticism and the Aesthetics of Individuation
At the close of the 18th century, the aesthetics of the sublime were shaped by two conflicting views: the empiricism of Edmund Burke and the formalist idealism of Immanuel Kant. Today, theoretical work struggles once again with this philosophical issue. In modern debates over the nature of literary language and of human agency, the sublime has been a bone of contention for critics of every stripe, from Adorno and Eagleton to Derrida and de Man, from deconstructionists to New Historicists. In this bold work, Frances Ferguson seeks to rescue Kantian idealism from prevailing empiricist critiques and to explain its particular urgency for our understanding of Romanticism. Burke and Kant are discussed in terms of the philosophical issues they raise, and the theoretical issues addressed by some of the most important recent writing on them. Ferguson then engages with various phenomena in Romantic writing - the Gothic novel, the population debates in 18th- and early 19th-century England, and travel literature. The final section of the work weighs the materialist claims of New Historicism and deconstruction.
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Adorno aesthetic experience aesthetic judgment aesthetic objects aesthetic pleasure Andrzej Warminski appears argue argument Barbara Herrnstein Smith beautiful becomes Burke Burke's Burkean Caleb Williams claim cognition color consciousness continually count criticism Critique of Judgment deconstructive Derrida distinction dynamical sublime Edmund Burke effect empirical empiricism empiricist Enquiry epistemology essay example Falkland formal Frankenstein Gilpin Godwin Gothic novel Hertz human idea identity imagination individual infinite insists involves Jacques Derrida Kant Kant's account Kantian kind landscape language less linguistic literary look Malthus Man's Marion material mathematical sublime McGann meaning merely monster Moreover natural objects notion one's particular pathetic fallacy perception persons perspective poem population possible produce psychological reading relationship represent representation response rhetorical Romantic Rousseau's seems sensation sense social society suggest taste thetic things tion trees truth University Victor Victor Frankenstein virtue Warminski Weiskel William Godwin William Wordsworth words Wordsworth