Sunday, February 20, 2011

Welcome to the Sublime

"Amazement and wonder exert invincible power and force" (137) 

      Longinus's view on sublimity is that "nature is on the whole a law unto herself in matters of emotion and elevation." (137) He believes that when produced at the right moments, it can tear everything up. Sublimity is the creation, or acknowledgement, of an idea so pure generated from everything around us, that sets us apart and separates us from the standards of awe and transports us into a place of peace. If someone here’s something repeatedly and is left with nothing to reflect upon or does not impose its meaning unto that person, than it is not true sublimity. “Real sublimity contains much food for reflection, is difficult or rather impossible to resist, and makes a strong and ineffaceable impression on the memory.” (138) Longinus believed that the most productive source of sublimity was the power to conceive great thoughts. He wrote elsewhere that “sublimity is the echo of a noble mind” (139). A person with a noble mind is one whose thoughts weigh heavily and are not full of trivial expressions.
“Our thoughts often travel beyond the boundaries of our surroundings. If anyone wants to know hat we were born for, let him look around at life and contemplate the splendour, grandeur, and beauty in which it everywhere abounds.” (151)
            In this clip from Walt Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, Dave explains his fascination with his tesla coil experiments. He is physics major and is using the tesla coils to generate plasma. He say’s, “I got so fixated on the technical aspects of it that I almost didn’t notice something kind of beautiful.” Here he demonstrates an aspect of sublimity; he is of noble mind by creating plasma from the high frequency sound waves from the coils. He is nature, with a little help from modern technology, to create a part of nature that is not seen every day. His moment of sublimity arises when he finally sees beyond just the technical aspect of his experiments and notices that the experiment itself is a kind of beauty. He takes a step away from physics and calculations and looks through different eyes at what the coils are doing, creating. “They’re making their own music and it was lost on me. I was never able to appreciate it”.

Word Count: 386
Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.

Tesla Coil Scene Sorcerer's Apprentice (Secrets - OneRepublic). Perf. Jay Baruchel. 17 November 2010. YouTube. 20 February 2011.

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