Still Alice and the Burkean Sublime



It is  hard to decide whether the words sublime and the sublimity used  in the  18th century have still the same reverberations in the 21st century. The aesthetic reflections on  sublime vary in the  18th century. There are three theoriticians on sublimity dating back to the past: Pseudo Longinos, Burke and Kant. In Pseudo-Longinos, the sublime has distinct moral implications. Burke’s theory is directed toward such situations  where some elements or situations are felt painful or threatening. Kant’s sublime  theory is  based  on  a response of reason to an overwhelming excess of greatness or power. The romanticists  including  Schiller  and Schopenhauer spread the sublime till the nineteenth century. Pathos, nobility, dignity and gravity are associated with sublimity. In this 21st  century it is  also possible  to find some associations like urban, industrial, religious, supernatural, modern, postmodern, existential, poetic, gothic, feminine, masculine and so on. The purpose  of this  study is to delve into the Burkean sublime and find its traces in the novel Still Alice, by Lisa Genova, an American neuroscientist and author, who self-published her debut novel in 2007, which is concerned  with Alice, a Harvard professor who suffers early onset Alzheimer's disease, which takes  hold swiftly and  changes  her relationship with her family and the world.

How to cite: Cubukcu, F. (2017). Still Alice and the Burkean Sublime. Logos Universality Mentality Education Novelty, Section: Philosophy and Humanistic Sciences, V(2), 5-12.


Burke, sublimity, transcendence.

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