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Sublimität und Tragödie bei Vittorio Alfieri

Bernhard Huss


Pages 391 - 418



The concept of the sublime as a whole is of fundamental significance in Vittorio Alfieri’s literary theory and in his own poetry. The following article focuses in particular on Alfieri’s well-documented recourse to Longinus’ essay On the Sublime. Alfieri’s concept of the sublime is examined above all with regard to his references to the poetics of tragedy. By referring extensively to Longinus, Alfieri’s aim seems to be to lend shape to the individualistic, author-centred poetics of ‘grandezza’ which are intended to be conveyed by means of a linguistic style that is forcedly unusual and forcibly brusque. The result is not only that fundamental principles pertaining to the way tragedies are structured are given new form, but also, with regard to stylistic questions, an extreme and anti-conformist language emerges. Alfieri draws on Longinus’ text in a wide complexity of ways, thereby achieving a reception of the Longinus sublime that aims to be both integral and holistic. He includes Longinus’ discussion of stylistic aspects and thus a rhetorical standpoint as determining in his theoretical considerations of the sublime and their practical application.

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