Journal article

Second Nature and the Sonic Sublime

Miranda Stanyon

Eighteenth-Century Life | Duke University Press | Published : 2021


Like other spaces of the Enlightenment, the sublime was what Michel de Certeau might have called “a practiced place.” Its rhetorical commonplaces, philosophical terrains, and associated physical environments were cultivated, shaped, and framed by human action and habit. But can the sublime—epiphanic, quasi-spiritual, unmasterable, extraordinary—ever really become a habit? Is it possible, even natural, to become habituated to sublimity? Taking as its point of departure the Aristotelian claim that “habit is a second nature,” this article explores the counterintuitive relationship between habit and the sublime. It focuses not on that eighteenth-century “cultivar,” the natural sublime, but on so..

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University of Melbourne Researchers