Dr. Cliff Getty McMahon is art historian at The University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He received his Ph.D. in art history/ aesthetics from The University of St. Andrews in 1998. He has held positions as art historian at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Virginia State University, and The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He is working on a second book involving the history of abstract art.2004 0-7734-6398-4
The discourse of the sublime, in this study, becomes positioned in new perspectives when an amalgamation is made between major classical theorists and contemporary theorists, leading to something like an anatomy of the sublime presented here as a theory of modes. This amalgamation blends the sublimicist concepts of Longinus, Burke, Kant, Nietzsche, Herbert Weiskel, Paul Crowther, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Frances Ferguson, Slavoj Zizek, Terry Eagleton, Harold Bloom, David Nye, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Sartre, and Jung. The treatment of Sartre and Jung shows that they generated major changes in the thought climate which established new modes of sublime experience recognized in modern art. This study seeks to elucidate not only the standard core concepts of the theorists, but also to bring to new prominence certain neglected religious concepts. Offering important innovative enlargements of the basic terminology for the discourse field, this study opens new doors to the analysis of sublime experiences and sublime objects, and thus new doors to the analysis of art works and artists’ programs, as well as new extensions of aesthetic theory.