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'The Dream of an Island': Dear Esther and the Digital Sublime

O'Sullivan, James

Kant remarks that beauty “is what pleases in the mere judgment (and there not by the medium of sensation in accordance with a concept of understanding),” and the sublime “pleases immediately through its opposition to the interest of sense”. Lyotard’s position is such that the sublime, as construed by Burke and Kant, “outlined a world of possibilities for artistic experiments in which the avant-gardes would later trace out their paths”. It is within this framework—the established connection between the sublime and the avant-garde—that I will situate my argument that electronic literature and literary games avail of an aesthetic of the sublime.

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