By Christopher Stokes
Traversing the topics of language, terror and illustration, this can be the 1st research to interact Coleridge during the elegant, displaying him to have a compelling place in an ongoing dialog approximately finitude. Drawing on shut readings of either his poetry and prose, it depicts Coleridge as a philosopher of "the restrict" with modern strength.
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Extra resources for Coleridge, Language and the Sublime: From Transcendence to Finitude
166). Sublimity thus becomes characterised by dissimulation; its naturalness a studied effect of rhetorical art. The origin in the high emotion of a noble soul is ultimately fictive. As Deguy emphasises, the apparent destruction of all that is rhetorical and artificial in a given discourse is itself rhetorical and artificial. 11 In fact, Longinus’s tactic here may be said to mirror a certain sublime logic of the concealed figure. Securing sublime discourse is a matter of giving force – which outstrips the spatial regulation of rhetorical convention – a temporal regulation in an origin.
Quotation marks allow Coleridge to reinscribe his discourse in a new context, distancing himself from what is disavowed and clarifying what is still confirmed. This examination – in which, of course, the reader is invited to share – complicates the single line of force running from sublime subjectivity to sublime discourse. The valorisation of the expressive moment so apparent in the effusion is called into question by the necessity for reflection, qualification and even revocation. The autonomous blow of the sublime voice no longer possesses self-assured and self-justifying mastery.
Rather, it follows figurally. As such, there is a transfer of qualities circulating in a chiasmic fashion between the text and the genius that supposedly lies behind it. As already mentioned, Longinus relies on an expressive relation maintaining that ‘sublimity is the echo of a noble mind’ (p. 150). However, the discursive excesses of sublime texts are cited for ‘the greatness of spirit they reveal’ (p. 176). This creates a chiasmus in that the sublimity of the text is determined through the existence of genius, and the existence of genius is inferred from the sublimity of the text.