File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0111, message 67

Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 13:01:33 -0600
Subject: Re: The Sublime


Please continue to expand on your insights. I am very intrigued with
what you are saying and I, for one, would be willing to obtain your book
and read it, in order that we can explore these issues in greater depth.

For the record, I wasn't making the statement that Hiroshima is sublime.
("Thus the vast ocean heaved up by storms cannot be called sublime" -COJ
book II) As any good Kantian could tell you, there are no sublime
objects, only the differend of competing faculties.

In my earlier post, I attempted to situate the experiencing of a
historical sublime within the context of the witnesses/survivors.  I 
am sorry if this was made unclear. 

Perhaps, one possible way in for this group would be to place your
reconstruction of Kant's delineation of the psyche in relation to what
Lyotard is saying. What do you see as the differences/similarities in
your own appoach?  

I would particularly like to hear more about the way Kant's discovery
led to the Bomb in particular. (didn't Heidegger have a somewhat similar
evaluation of Kant?)

I would also like to hear more about your positioning of the tragic as
the master narrative of our history.  My own disposition is certainly
melancholy enough, but I must tell you I remain somewhat suspicious of
these kinds of frames.

To speak in a very banal way, I could not help but notice, for all the
subliminity and seriousness of 911, after a week, the giggles began to
roll in.  All these exaggerated heroic responses to the tragedy began to
appear slightly ridiculous.... (gag me with a flag!) 

What is that quote (butchered here somewhat) - history is a tragedy for
those who think, a comedy for those who feel.

This is perhaps not quite right, but it points to some of the
complications felt in response to history by a Kynic like me.


Your comments on 'Sublime Thanatos' are certainly relevant to this
disucssion. Lyotard certainly discusses this and Badiou also critiques
the generalized ethics of human rights as being a kind of death wish.


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