Thesis

Rediscovering the sublime

European male writers established and developed the definitions and theories of the sublime, thus creating a gendered discourse and in turn inviting a feminist perspective. By examining the poetics of Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop, I find that there are alternative approaches to the sublime. Emily Dickinson engenders the sublime by resisting the romantic sublime and abandoning the subject/ object relationship. Further, by being a woman writer in her historico-cultural circumstance while simultaneously creating a style that deviates from the traditional standards of poetics, Dickinson offers an alternative in what I will call the reciprocal sublime. Bishop, by allowing the subject of the poem to remain between two realms rather than leaving one and entering another, employs what I will call the liminal sublime. Similarly, Bishop uses imagination and the grotesque as a catalyst to the sublime moment, thus subverting Kant's domination model (reason over imagination) and resisting the degradation associated with the grotesque. Item only available to the CSUSM community. Authentication with campus user name and password required.

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