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Kristina Fjelkestam: The Politics of the Sublime

Published on 18 October, 2010

Det sublimas politik: Emancipatorisk estetik i 1800-talets konstnärsromaner, Makadam 2010

In her new book, Det sublimas politik: Emancipatorisk estetik i 1800-talets konstnärsromaner ("The Politics of the Sublime: Emancipatory Aesthetics in 19th Century Artist Novels") Fjelkestam argues that the male gendering of the sublime in the 18th century had not only aesthetic consequences but also political ones. For instance, the male prerogative of experiencing the sublime became an essential part in the construction of the ideal citizen, hence resulting in yet another way of shutting women out from the political arena of the new nation states. But in artist novels from the 19th century, by and about women, the politics of the sublime receive different representations: Madame de Staël places the sublime experience as the start for societal change, Fanny Lewald makes the sublime moment call upon political action, and Louisa May Alcott popularizes the sublime by politicizing the sentimental.

Det sublimas politik: Emancipatorisk estetik i 1800-talets konstnärsromaner (Göteborg/Stockholm: Makadam 2010)

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