Since ancient times, the discussion and discussion of sublime has never stopped in aesthetic theory.
From Longinus in ancient Rome to modern times, with the efforts of Edison, bock and Winckelmann, sublime was formed, to Kant and Schiller’s comprehensive discussion and perfection, to the rebellion of modern art and entering the postmodern vision of Lyotard.
Sublime constantly produced new ideas and enriched its connotation in theory.
We can see from it that sublimity has not been recorded in history with the changes of social culture and the passage of time since its origin.
It has become a dusty thought waiting for future generations to explore.
On the contrary, sublime is very active in today’s western aesthetics and thought, and still occupies an important position, which can be seen from the postmodern sublime thought represented by leopard.
So, what is it that makes sublimity once discussed and so valued? We believe that a fundamental reason is that from the beginning of its theory, sublimity takes the inquiry into the meaning of human soul as its own goal, and the thinking about human destiny and survival as its own original problem.
As liotard said, unlike other aesthetic and artistic categories, sublimity is not in art, but in the speculation of art.
It is through the speculation of art and aesthetics that the sublime takes the fundamental problem of man as its own problem.
This is the most basic reason why philosophers pay more attention to it from ancient sages to today.
Therefore, we try to revisit this category in a new perspective, and then explore the thinking of human soul and survival hidden in the depths of its theory.
On the development of sublime theory, the most prominent contributions to this theory are bock and Kant.
In addition, Longinus and Lyotard also made efforts to establish and sublimate the sublime.
In order to further clarify the connotation of sublimity, we first need to review the essence of their theory.
Longinus’ discussion of sublimity is based on human mind.
In addition, there is another point worthy of our attention in his theory, that is, his revelation of some indeterminacy and absence in the sublime style.
After quoting a passage he believed that “Longinus did not really grasp any clear lofty ideas with certainty”, Then he added: “perhaps we can say that the author (referring to Longinus) is about to realize to a certain extent that sublimity depends on the effort or response of the mind to compete with the atmosphere of grandeur or infinite power.
In this effort or response, the subject feels that he must have more profound spiritual power than he usually experiences.
” In Bao sangkui’s comments, we can see that the mind pursues the hidden magnificent atmosphere infinitely, which also includes the pursuit of absence and uncertainty in the performance of presence.
Langinus repeatedly emphasized that the great significance of the soul lies in the infinite pursuit of an indeterminacy and absence.
This is the combination of presence and absence, the transcendence of finite and infinite, which has been consistent with Kant’s thought.
On this issue, Mr.
Zhang Shiying believes that the implied meaning in Longinus’s words is that presence and absence, manifestation and concealment constitute a whole of all things, and the realm of this holistic transcendence is sublimity.
In the theory of sublime, bock’s greatest contribution lies not in Kant’s listing and analysis of sublime phenomena based on empirical analysis, but in his description of infinity and the resulting fear.
He pointed out that what people know least but move people most is eternity and infinity.
People fear in eternity and infinity and their vitality is coerced, that is, people’s fear of possible absence and concealment.
Bock further believes that this fear is only suspended, that is, to keep a certain distance from people, not a real existence.
It is this vitality or soul that is relieved from the tension of tension and coercion that generates a sense of sublimity.
Therefore, bock’s sublimity is not the sublimity of sentiment and human nature, but fundamentally, it is a kind of restlessness and internal tension of life.
In this perception of the finiteness of people facing nothingness and infinity, real life rises from it, because in this tension, the mind realizes existence in an instant, and “this exists in D” rises in an instant, This is what Lyotard said and described as a lightning bolt breaking through chaos.
The opposition between finite and infinite is obvious, and it is also a kind of transcendence, integration and unification.
Kant thoroughly brought infinity, formlessness and indeterminacy into the sublime horizon.
In Kant, he proves the inevitability (infinity) of reason by facing the infinite incompetence (finiteness) through imagination, and the image in time and space is presented through negation, that is, by proving that it cannot be presented.
Therefore, this inconsistency or opposition leads to an internal tension, and in the transcendence of this internal tension, the sense of sublimity depends on.
As he cited, the Jewish law prohibits idolatry as an example of negative presentation.
Different from the pure form of beauty, Kant here emphasizes a kind of formless.
It is in infinity that the indeterminacy of the mind is highlighted, and this indeterminacy is indeed a strong postmodern feeling.
In terms of indeterminacy and impossibility of presentation, leopard went further.
He directly intercepted the indeterminacy, infinity and formlessness of sublime from bock and Kant, and pushed the instantaneity in sublime emotion to the extreme.
In this way, leopard was directly connected with Heidegger’s existential philosophy, For example, his deconstruction of time and space in his emphasis on “this in the d present” in the sublime, his direct emphasis on the lack and retreat of the composition of time and space in the sense of sublime, his attention to the uncertainty of meaning, and the relationship between sublime and Heidegger’s withdrawal of existence and giving, all have obvious traces of existentialism.
The most moving part of Lyotard’s Sublime Theory is its connection with confrontation dehumanization.
He handed this task to the pioneer art with sublime as its theoretical standard without hesitation.
He believes that in the pioneer art, this transcendence and attention to the deep soul are truly realized, This also fully reflects the profound concern of Lyotard’s lofty theory about the suffering of human soul.