Asynthesis & act: the evental sublime in Badiou, Byron, and Barker Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8s45qf04c

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  • Asynthesis & Act is a significant intervention into the discourse of the sublime. Through a deep investigation of the critical metaphysics of Immanuel Kant, the first chapter of this thesis puts forth the claim that the sublime is a radical experience that occasions a possibility for the individual to commit a purely ethical and potentially revolutionary act. I do so by drawing detailed connections between the aesthetic, experiential, and cognitive dimensions of the sublime and Alain Badiou’s philosophy of the Truth!Event. By demonstrating that the sublime is immanent in Badiou’s philosophy, I claim that the sublime comes to be an aesthetic marker for authentically ethical actions and thinking; what I call the ‘evental sublime’. The second chapter of the thesis explores these claims about the sublime in a literary context, through a reading of George Gordon Lord Byron’s verse!drama Man!ed. The third chapter of the thesis is an ecstatic engagement with the drama and theatre of Howard Barker. I argue that Barker’s Art of Theatre is the crucible for my theory of the sublime. The epilogue of the thesis provides a demonstration of Barker’s evental sublime in a reading of his 2005 play, The Fence in Its Thousandth Year.
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