THE RHETORICS OF THE eXtreme

Amanda A. du Preez

Abstract


This paper traces the relation between bungee jumping as eXtreme sport and the
experience culture that we live in. It is argued that the sublime has been commodified to
suit consumers’ preferences and choices. The higher the bridge or drop, the more
enticing and challenging the jump. The sublime experience of bungee jumping has been
reduced to a “drug” that can be induced whenever a quick fix of adrenaline is needed.
The difference between the Kantian sublime and the eXtreme sublime, as figured in
bungee jumping and other extreme sports, is also considered. Some comparative notes
are made between the Romantic sublime as figured in the landscapes of Friedrich and
bungee jumping. Where the Romantic sublime still worked with a necessary distance
between object and subject the contemporary extreme sublime attempts to momentously
disrupt the distance and become one with the eventfulness of the sublime.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/90-0-1055

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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