Brooks, Linda M.

Menace of the Sublime to the Individual Self in Kant, Schiller and Coleridge the Disintegration of Identity in Romanticism
1996 0-7734-8752-2
Exploring theories of the sublime from Neoclassicism to the Postmodern, this study questions the widely-accepted view of the sublime as an aesthetics that glorifies the self. It argues that the aesthetics of terror that pervaded 18th and early 19th-century Europe was part of a generic movement toward the dissipation of the unity underwriting conventional concepts of identity. Closely analyzing the divisiveness underlying the sublime in Burke's Enquiry, Kant's third Critique, Schiller's ten years of aesthetic essay, and Coleridge's scattered aesthetic writings, the study moves beyond such leading scholars of the sublime as Thomas Weiskel, Frances Ferguson, Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard, and Neil Hertz, offering a perspective on the sublime that breaks new ground in our understanding of romantic identity and its relation to the postmodern self.