On the Sublime


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On the Sublime

 

a classical treatise on aesthetics and literary criticism dating from the first century A.D. and long attributed to the third-century rhetorician and philosopher Longinus. The treatise is a polemic against a work of the same title written by the rhetorician Caecilius of Calacle.

In the treatise once ascribed to Longinus, the sublime is interpreted for the first time not merely as a particular style of oratory but as an aesthetic category, and it is linked with “spiritual grandeur.” The work expounds the doctrine of five sources of the sublime, of which the most important are “the capacity of man for lofty thoughts and judgments,” and “strong and inspired passion” (O vozvyshennom, translated, with an article and notes, by N. A. Chistiakova, Moscow-Leningrad, 1966, pp. 15–16). The treatise had considerable influence on modern aesthetics, particularly during the classicist period. (This is evident in works by N. Boileau-Despréaux, the French poet; J. Milton, A. Pope, and J. Dryden, the English poets; and M. V. Lomonosov of Russia.) The first complete Russian translation of On the Sublime appeared in 1803.

References in periodicals archive ?
In eighteenth-century aesthetic reflections on the sublime, there are astoundingly different accounts of the subject.
This motif reappears in further reflection on the sublime many times.
One of the most crucial problems in the theoretical thought on the sublime is a linguistic problem.
The Unnameable: Representation(s) of the Sublime" "The Most Sublime Act:" Essays on the Sublime.