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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For , as W . Jackson Bate explains of Addison ' s natural sublime , “ Locke ' s
sensationalist psychology had encouraged the belief that the greater the size of
the object contemplated or recalled , the greater is the feeling or thought which ...
Yet the thoughts associated by such a neo - Longinian reader were mostly the
sublime ones of vastness and an elevation ... flights , exciting the highest sense
of sublimity , treated with a corresponding grandeur of language and thought .
Yet even in the vastness of America , as Wallace Stevens enacted in “ Notes
Towards a Supreme Fiction , ” the sublime occurs mostly along a mental limen or
frontier , “ a point / Beyond which thought could not progress as thought . ” 5
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