ISSN: 20403682
First published in 2010
2 issues per volume
Volume 2 Issue 1
Cover Date: September 2011
The desert and the sea: The Sapphic sublime of Frederick Sommer
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Authors:  John Timberlake 
DOI: 10.1386/pop.2.1.115_1

Keywords
,,,,sublime,Sappho,landscape photography,Frederick Sommer,

Abstract

This article considers tropes of fragmentation and immersion in photographs made by Frederick Sommer (1905–1999) in the 1940s. It problematizes Kant-derived conceptions of the sublime, arguing that the radical nature of Sommer’s work of this period challenges dyadic relationships of the figure/ground that are associated with depictions of the Kantian sublime. Reviewing some of the writing on Sommer’s work to date, the article draws upon a close reading of his photographic prints and technique in the context of his wider practice, and alongside work done over the past four decades in Literature Studies, Feminist Studies, Lesbian and Gay Studies, and Classical Studies, to propose that a model of the Sapphic sublime is appropriate to Sommer’s work of this period.
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