Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Beautiful... and the Sublime

Edmund Burke's wonderful thoughts on the Sublime and the Beautiful have influenced
aesthetics for the past two hundred years. Proust's description of the optical
illusion of the towers of Martinville reference Burke in many ways.

Photographers carry these received ideas with them wherever they go,
especially when in the countryside.

What makes a pleasing landscape?
Must it carry a sense of foreboding to be truly impressive?
Is it possible to be actually sure what the eye is seeing?
And, if one insists on platonism, what is "reality".

No wonder I left a friend pacing the terrace at Powerscourt
recently as I tried to get The Sugar Loaf Mountain
from the best angle.

Time had stood still.

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