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Title: Sublime, the unclear
Authors: Kulisz, Marek
Keywords: sublime
Issue Date: 1994
Publisher: Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Citation: T. Rachwał, T. Sławek (red.), ""The most sublime act" : essays on the sublime" (S. 68-73). Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Abstract: The word (signifler) “sublime” appeared for the first time in English in the Middle Ages and there was nothing unusual about it. Alchemists used it. To sublime meant to “subject (a substance) to the action of heat in a vessel so as to convert it into vapour, which is carried off and on cooling is deposited in a solid form”. Latin was the language of research and, in such contexts, the use of a Latin word in any vernacular must have been seen as a matter of course. The appearance of the word was in a sense necessary because alchemy (which is a Greek or Arabic derivation meaning “the art of transmutation”) needed predicates to denote and relate its activities. The simple words like burn, cool, etc. were to be found in the vernacular, but not those denoting more complex activities, such as transmute, sublime or calcine. These had to be taken from Latin — transmutare, sublimare, calcinare — though in the case of English usually indirectly, through French.
ISBN: 8322605374
Appears in Collections:Książki/rozdziały (W.Hum.)

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