Theory, Culture and Society 21 (3):1-33 (2004)

The article considers some aspects of the problem of both individual and collective identity in the context of the development of different kinds of warfare in modern western society. The elucidation of these relations requires an unexpected application of aesthetic ideas; in particular the notion of the sublime. It is argued that the experience of combat is one possible ‘real’ form of the sublime. It is further suggested, paradoxically, that sublime combat cannot actually be experienced; it is an ‘inexperience’. The historical significance of modern western war literature, thus, is just that it fills the ‘gap’ left by the destructive inexperience of combat and it allows those who endured it, as well as those who did not, to construct a ‘memory’ of the events themselves.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0263276404043618
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,066
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Art of Memory.Ian M. L. Hunter & Frances A. Yates - 1967 - Philosophical Quarterly 17 (67):169.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Collective Memory and Forgetting.Bridget Fowler - 2005 - Theory, Culture and Society 22 (6):53-72.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Sublime: From Antiquity to the Present.Timothy M. Costelloe (ed.) - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
Contemporary Environmental Aesthetics and the Neglect of the Sublime.S. Shapshay - 2013 - British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (2):181-198.
On Terror and the Sublime.Jean-François Lyotard - 1986 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 1986 (67):196-198.


Added to PP index

Total views
12 ( #805,957 of 2,498,786 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #421,542 of 2,498,786 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes