[Humanist] 28.920 artificial Sublime?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Apr 28 08:57:27 CEST 2015

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 920.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2015 00:53:57 +0000
        From: Michael Ullyot <ullyot at ucalgary.ca>
        Subject: A listserv inquiry into the Sublime

Dear colleagues:

I came across Elizabeth A. Kessler’s work recently, thanks to the “On the Media” podcast<http://www.onthemedia.org/story/on-the-media-2015-04-24/?utm_source=local&utm_medium=treatment&utm_campaign=carousel&utm_content=item0>, and it has me thinking about the concept of the sublime applied to quasi-human formulations. (The book is Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime<https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/picturing-the-cosmos>.)

The cosmos is a natural phenomenon, I know — but the Hubble images seem to be on the verge of human creations, because astronomers add colour and so on for different gases.

My question is whether the sublime has ever been used to describe human-created phenomena or artifacts. Particularly textual ones. For instance, has anyone described a vast library inspiring the same feelings of awe and apprehension that the sublime provokes? The only examples I can think of are architectural.

The association with Hubble owes, naturally, to Willard McCarty’s apt description of text-analysis tools as “telescopes for the mind."


Michael Ullyot

Associate Professor, Department of English<http://english.ucalgary.ca/> :: Associate Dean (Teaching + Learning), Faculty of Arts<http://arts.ucalgary.ca/>, University of Calgary :: PI, Augmented Criticism Lab<http://acriticismlab.org/> :: Blog<http://ullyot.ucalgaryblogs.ca/> :: Twitter<https://twitter.com/ullyot>

Follow the Email Charter<http://ullyot.ucalgaryblogs.ca/2014/12/17/e-mail-charter/>

More information about the Humanist mailing list