[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]
Related: escapism - exotica - Orientalism - transport - Grand Tour of Europe
Reading: The Art of Travel (2002) - Alain de Botton
Destinations: Bomarzo park - Le Palais Idéal
Voyages dans l'Inde (1865/68) - Louis Rousselet
image sourced here.
Turquoise lake, Flores Indonesia The most famous tourist attraction in Flores is Kelimutu; three coloured lakes in the district of Ende. These coloured lakes change colours on a regular basis. The latest colours (mid 2003) were said to be turquoise, green and red. The red lake has only recently changed from being black. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flores#Tourism [Feb 2005]
The sublime and the Swiss Alps
The Alps, photo Jan Chciuk-Celt
The development of the concept of the sublime as an aesthetic quality distinct from beauty was first brought into prominence in the eighteenth century in the writings of Anthony Ashley Cooper (third earl of Shaftesbury) and John Dennis, in expressing an appreciation of the fearful and irregular forms of external nature, and Joseph Addison’s synthesis of Cooper’s and Dennis’ concepts of the sublime in his Spectator, and later the Pleasures of the Imagination. All three Englishmen had, within the span of several years, made the journey across the Alps and commented in their writings of the horrors and harmony of the experience, expressing a contrast of aesthetic qualities.
John Dennis was the first to publish his comments in a journal letter published as Miscellanies in 1693, giving an account of crossing the Alps where, contrary to his prior feelings for the beauty of nature as a "delight that is consistent with reason", the experience of the journey was at once a pleasure to the eye as music is to the ear, but "mingled with Horrours, and sometimes almost with despair." Shaftesbury had made the journey two years prior to Dennis but did not publish his comments until 1709 in the Moralists. His comments on the experience also reflected pleasure and repulsion, citing a "wasted mountain" that showed itself to the world as a "noble ruin", but his concept of the sublime in relation to beauty was one of degree rather than the sharp contradistinction that Dennis developed into a new form of literary criticism. Shaftesbury’s writings reflect more of a regard for the awe of the infinity of space, where the sublime was not an aesthetic quality in opposition to beauty, but a quality of a grander and higher importance than beauty.
Joseph Addison made the Grand Tour in 1699 and commented in the Spectator (1712) that "The Alps fill the mind with an agreeable kind of horror". The significance of Addison’s concept of the sublime is that the three pleasures of the imagination that he identified; greatness, uncommonness, and beauty, "arise from visible objects" (sight rather than rhetoric). It is also notable that in writing on the "Sublime in external Nature", he does not use the term "sublime", but uses terms that would be considered as absolutive superlatives, e.g. "unbounded", "unlimited", as well as "spacious", "greatness", and on occasion terms denoting excess.
Addison’s notion of greatness was integral to the concept of the sublime. An art object could be beautiful but it could not rise to greatness. His work Pleasures of the Imagination, as well as Mark Akenside's Pleasures of the Imagination (1744), and Edward Young's Night Thoughts (1745), are generally considered as the starting points for Edmund Burke's concept of the sublime in Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful (1756). The significance of Burke’s writings is that he was the first philosopher to argue that the sublime and the beautiful are mutually exclusive. The dichotomy is not as simple as Dennis' opposition, but antithetical to the same degree as light and darkness. Beauty may be accentuated by light, but either intense light or darkness (the absence of light) is sublime to the degree that it can obliterate the sight of an object. The imagination is moved to awe and instilled with a degree of horror by what is "dark, uncertain, and confused." While the relationship of the sublime and the beautiful is one of mutual exclusiveness, either one can produce pleasure. The sublime may inspire horror, but one receives pleasure in knowing that the perception is a fiction. Burke's concept of the sublime was a stark contrast to the classical notion of aesthetic quality in Plato's Philebus, Ion, and Symposium, and suggested ugliness as an aesthetic quality. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sublime_%28philosophy%29 [Sept 2005]
See also: sublime - nature
Arches National Park in Utah
Rock formation at Arches National Park in Utah
Via Susie Bright's blog
See also: vagina - nature - tourism
your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products