Critical Horizons 14 (3):407-428 (2013)

Strongly positive uses of terms that designate an absence, a cognitive or ontological impossibility or a sensory privation are among the persistent conceptual figures of Benjamin’s thought. This article analyses the moves by which Benjamin gave his concept of ‘the expressionless’ its intriguing semantic meaning and moral value. Drawing on the poetics and philosophy of the sublime from Greek antiquity through modern times, the article reveals key historical reference points of Benjamin’s concept and, furthermore, his strategy of advocating a novel theory of the sublime as an antithesis to, or an interruption of, the beautiful by selectively integrating older traditions with theorems previously unrelated to these traditions.
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DOI 10.1179/1440991713Z.00000000016
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References found in this work BETA

Critique of Judgment.Immanuel Kant & Werner S. Pluhar - 1987 - Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company.
Kritik der Praktischen Vernunft.Immanuel Kant (ed.) - 1878 - Felix Meiner Verlag.
On the Sublime.S. Usher, Longinus & D. A. Russell - 1966 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 86:202-203.
Intention.[author unknown] - 1960 - Philosophical Quarterly 10 (40):281-282.

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