Cover: Personification and the Sublime: Milton to Coleridge, from Harvard University PressCover: Personification and the Sublime in E-DITION

Personification and the Sublime

Milton to Coleridge

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674181670

Publication Date: 09/30/1985

178 pages

World

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

Eighteenth-century and Romantic readers had a peculiar habit of calling personified abstractions “sublime.” This has always seemed mysterious, since the same readers so often expressed a feeling that there was something wrong with turning ideas into people—or, worse, turning people into ideas. In this wide-ranging, carefully argued study, Steven Knapp explains the connection between personification and the aesthetics of the sublime.

Personifications, such as Milton’s controversial figures of Sin and Death in Paradise Lost, were seen to embody a unique combination of imaginative power and overt fictionality, and these, Knapp shows, were exactly the conflicting requirements of the sublime in general. He argues that the uneasiness readers felt toward sublime personifications was symptomatic of broader ambivalences toward archaic beliefs, political and religious violence, and poetic fiction as such.

Drawing on recent interpretations of Romanticism, allegory, and the sublime, Knapp provides important new readings of Coleridge, Wordsworth, Kant, and William Collins. His provocative thesis sheds new light on the relationship between Romanticism and the eighteenth century.

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, from Harvard University Press

“Predictive Policing” and Racial Profiling

While technology used in policing has improved, it hasn’t progressed, says Khalil Gibran Muhammad, if racial biases are built into those new technologies. This excerpt from his book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, shows that for the reform called for by the current protests against systemic racism and racially-biased policing to be fulfilled, the police—especially those at the top—will need to change their pre-programmed views on race and the way they see the Black citizens they are supposed to “serve and protect.”