When the sublime first emerged as a rhetorical (and eventually as an aesthetic) category, its advocates were careful to dissociate it from bombast and ungoverned verbal inflation. … Efforts at rendering large emotion have always been bedevilled by the attendant vices discrediting that emotion. In failing to establoish "objective correlatives," in over-extending the resources of expression and in violating decorum, writers have missed the sublime in their very efforts to reach it.



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