Essay Mountaineering

Essay Mountaineering-29
This first great age of the sublime—in art and scholarly, scientific discourse—was also the great pioneering period of mountaineering in the Swiss Alps.Whereas in previous centuries mountains were considered either mortally inhospitable wilderness or the inviolably sacred home of divinities, adventurers and geologists began to climb in the Alps in the 18th century.Perhaps you’re standing on a thin ledge looking straight down a 2000-meter rock face into another country.

This first great age of the sublime—in art and scholarly, scientific discourse—was also the great pioneering period of mountaineering in the Swiss Alps.Whereas in previous centuries mountains were considered either mortally inhospitable wilderness or the inviolably sacred home of divinities, adventurers and geologists began to climb in the Alps in the 18th century.

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Event Mount Everest cannot now claim to be invulnerable, having already been scaled several times the first time by Hillary, an English man.

Several expeditions were organized to negotiate this highest mountain-peak in the world and at least: four of them have been successful-British, Swiss, American and Indian.

What, asked Kant, distinguishes the feeling of the sublime from simple fear, dread, anxiety, and so on?

While fear is actually and wholly painful, the sublime is not; it is mixed with “delight”.

The combination of physiological fear and intellectual belief for Kant indicates our dual nature as human beings belonging to both the realm of natural causal necessity and the realm of moral freedom.

Thus when we experience the sublime we are most authentically human beings.The danger to them is the very essence of life and they feed on the delight which they experience in overcoming it.Mountaineering appeals to them as it makes the heaviest demands upon their courage, perseverance and powers of endurance. As one climbs higher and higher, the air becomes more and more rarified and breathing becomes more and more difficult.The concept was rediscovered in the 18th century, where it migrated from a stylistic feature to a sensory experience requiring philosophical and psychological explanation, most famously in Edmund Burke’s (1757).There Burke defined the sublime as “that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror,” a peculiar form of “astonishment in terror” and a “delightful horror.” He wrote: No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear, for fear being an apprehension of pain and death, it operates in a manner that resembles actual pain.In films such as (1929) Fanck created stunning images of vulnerable male climbers exposed to nature’s elemental powers in the mountains (Fig. Critics have interpreted these films as signs of fascist inclinations, finding in the heroes’ submission to elemental forces “a mentality kindred to Nazi spirit” (Siegfried Kracauer) and “an anthology of proto-Nazi sentiments” (Susan Sontag); indeed, Fanck’s favorite actress, Leni Riefenstahl, directed and starred in her own mountain film (, 1935).But, as film historians have observed, this interpretation omits or understates the fascinating and disquieting pleasure these films provided their huge audiences, a popularity that cannot be explained by the glorious landscapes or the melodramatic plots alone.This specific complex emotion is called ‘the sublime,’ and it has its home in the mountains.That the sublime would be proper to mountains is unsurprising, for the term was first introduced by the classical Greek rhetorician Longinus to designate an “elevated” style of writing and speech, which was then translated as “sublimis” (“uplifting, lofty”) in subsequent Latin translations of the Greek original text.These experiences were immortalized and stylized by the illustrious painters and lithographers of the day. And in turn, genuine explorers and mountaineers, for whom the feeling of the sublime was an inherent and welcome byproduct of their pursuit rather than merely a manufactured and commercialized commodity to be consumed, pressed higher, farther, up into the wild heights of more distant lands.The second great age of the sublime in Western culture occurred in the early decades of the twentieth-century, and once again occurred in the mountains, but this time on the film screen rather than the canvas.

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