the sublime

The Sublime: There is no real way to annotate the sublime within the confines of language, within the words which we are bound to use simply because they are all we have. The stage directions in the play are specifically vague at these moments, “Something weird happens,” and so forth. In the moment of the sublime in the play, the actors are not acting, but they are also not not acting. According to Kant, "Nothing that can be an object of our senses is to be called sublime, and thus the imagination, our power of estimating the magnitude of things, is inadequate to the idea of the sublime. Yet this inadequacy itself is the arousal in us of the feeling that we have within us a supersensible power. Therefore what we call the sublime is not an object, the sublime is what proves the mind has a power surpassing any standard.” This tension between not knowing what the sublime is and yet knowing that it exists can serve as a guide for how to get to that place which is both weirdly wonderful and f***ing horrifying. While old Immanuel is useful, you shouldn’t need, however, to take his Christian baggage with you. Kant was wrong about some things. Many things. The sublime is found in art, not in nature, truth or God, especially now that we’ve managed to kill off most of nature, truth and God (that “fat bastard,” as good old Samuel Beckett was fond of calling him). In short, embrace the chaos.

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