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Molly Shifrin - sublime is an intrinsically experimental...

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Molly Shifrin PHL 241 Tuesday, March 3, 2009 Response Paper 6 I think that when Lyotard says that "avant-gardism is...present in germ in the Kantian aesthetic of the sublime," he is referring to the experimental nature of the sublime facet of aesthetics and how intrinsic that is to Kant’s ideas. Kant’s conception of aesthetics and aesthetic pleasure is closely related to the experience of the sublime, of the “pleasure that comes from pain”(458). This concept within itself is a hard one to conceive, seeing as how it’s nature is one of such incomprehensible magnitude. This makes the sublime avant-garde simply for the fact that it is not concrete, and easy. It is an experience and a concept that must be experimented with in order to be understood. This is what Lyotard is referring to as “present in germ.” Within Kant’s aesthetic of the
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Unformatted text preview: sublime is an intrinsically experimental nature that can be easily classified as avant-garde. The other facet of this, of course, is the irony in the end of the paragraph in which Lyotard refers to this avant-gardism. The irony being that the art that is described in Kantian and other aesthetics is merely trying to mimic this feeling of the sublime, of the pain and pleasure of observing the inconceivable. This art fails to represent this concept truthfully and therefore presents an “agitation”, as Kant coins it, in the viewer, contrary to the intended pleasure of experiencing beauty. It is therefore, ironic that this avant-gardism is so present in Kantian aesthetics, since it is so contrary to aesthetic pleasure....
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