Anxiety: The Sublime as Trauma and Repetition

Kiene Brillenburg Wurth

in Musically Sublime

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230631
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235452 | DOI:
Anxiety: The Sublime as Trauma             and Repetition

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This chapter offers a critical rewriting of the mathematical and dynamical sublimes—the sublime of the infinite and the sublime of terror—as specifically musical experiences. With respect to the latter, it offers the idea of a failed or unclaimed experience of an excess that cannot be overcome. Rereading the normative dynamical sublime as a traumatic interruption, it recasts it as an experience that is not (yet) a mastered and therefore (as yet) unaccomplished experience. Approaching trauma as a violent shock that nonetheless feeds on the context it does violence to, the chapter arranges trauma musically in a romantic work that at once relies on and erodes its formal setting: the Andantino of Franz Schubert's Sonata in A Minor (D. 959). Alternatively, it recasts the mathematical sublime as an internally divided experience of tension and respite that cannot be concluded as one, as unified.

Keywords: mathematical sublime; dynamical sublime; musical sublime; trauma; Franz Schubert

Chapter.  15464 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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