American Sublime: The Genealogy of a Poetic Genre
University of Wisconsin Press, 1991 - 337 Seiten
Tracing ideas of the sublime in American literature from Puritan writings to the postmodern epoch, Rob Wilson demonstrates that the North American landscape has been the ground for political as well as aesthetic transport. He takes a distinctly historical approach and explores the ways in which experiences of the American landscape instill desire for other kinds of vastness: self-expansion, national expansion, and American political power. As Wallace Stevens put it, the American will takes "dominion everywhere."
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... nature can lead to ( 2 ) a heightened mood of transport before the divine artistry
of nature , and ( 3 ) the poet ultimately goes on to transcendence of nature
through an affective recognition of the “ immortal ” and “ vast ” beauty / power of
... towards formal and social liberation : the postmodern sublime is enlisted as a
symbolic praxis destabilizing reigning ideas of “ order ” and of “ beauty ” which
collective narratives of the self assume as limit , form , decorum , and history .
It lighted every peak , crevasse , and mountain range with a clarity and beauty
that cannot be described but must be seen to be imagined . It was the beauty the
great poets dream about but describe most poorly and inadequately .
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