Today, the sublime has again become the focus of sustained reconsideration, but now for its epistemological and ontological—or presentational—aspects. As an unmasterable excess of beauty, the sublime marks the limits of representational thinking. These essays will be indispensable reading for anyone whose work is concerned with the sublime or, more generally, with the limits of representation, including philosophers, literary scholars and art historians.
Jeffrey S. Librett is Assistant Professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Loyola University.
"With its ruined castles and uncanny ghosts, the sublime has always been the secret truth of deconstruction, and indeed of post-structuralism in general. Hence it comes that these essays were first collected under the auspices of a series called 'L'Extrême contemporain. ' Combining work by some of France's leading philosophers and by some of their most gifted students, it offers unique insights into the latest thinking about Schelling, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, and particularly Kant—the flesh-and-blood, passionate, divided, even violent Kant that we have been coming to see behind the impersonal mask of the Critiques. Rich in meditation and precise in philology, it is beautifully summed up by Louis Marin's concluding reflection on a painting of Nicolas Poussin. Jeffrey Librett's translation of the difficult texts is admirably faithful, idiomatic, and readable, and he contributes a lively essay on Heidegger as an overview of the collection's approaches and insights. " — Marshall Brown, University of Washington
"Many readers will discover something new about the topics of Kant and the sublime in these essays; they are all models of scholarship and well-attuned acts of reading. The translation is excellent. " — Peter Fenves, Northwestern University