chapter  3
Neil Hertz The Notion of Blockage in the Literature of the Sublime
Pages 20

The mind 'blocked' in confronting a multiplicity or vastness too much to comprehend: such a moment seems to have become so inseparable from the idea of the sublime that asking why, and how, takes an imaginative effort. Neil Hertz makes that effort here, in a study that examines how sublime scenarios operate in theoretical and historiographical writing as well as in poetry. His essay shows, within a variety of texts, how the 'notion of blockage' (his characteristically casual but precise phrasing) functions to consolidate the idea of a self that is single, whole, and distinct from its representations.