What’s the relationship between the Kantian sublime and Freudian sublimation? Is the apparent relationship merely a coincidence of translation? Or is there some deeper connection that I’d never noticed before? It sounds as though sublimation ought to be the process of making sublime, which makes me wonder whether Freud understood the sublime not as an amalgamation of beauty and terror but rather the containment of terror by beauty, the transformation of the chthonic into the aesthetic. Is there anything in this?
This post brought to you by the skin brightening face scrub in my shower that describes itself in French as “soin lissant sublimateur,” which got me wondering whether I really wanted my face to be sublime, or whether I was just channeling my libido into better skin care.