According to Fredric Jameson,
Burke’s problem as he confronted […] the sublime was to find some explanation [...] not for our aesthetic pleasure in […] “beauty”, in what could plausibly gratify the human organism on its own scale, but rather for our aesthetic delight in spectacles which would seem symbolically to crush human life and to dramatize everything which reduces the individual human being and the individual subject to powerlessness and nothingness (2016: 235).
Assessing this particular aesthetic experience, Jameson continues, Burke identified a particular connection to being as essential, detecting an ontological link, glimpses of a force that transcends human life. Through the sublime, the subject encounters a barely detectible force, one that generates a sense of acute vulnerability (2016: 236). ... More