When Crime Is Sublime

  • Oriana Binik


This chapter focuses on an emotional analysis of the fascination with crime. I hypothesise that even if there are many different nuances between them, ‘sublime’, ‘awe’ and the ‘uncanny’ can be brought back to the same emotional experience. In fact, they have an oxymoronic nature in common, expressing simultaneous attraction and repulsion. Related to the reaction to crime, they can also be described via two dimensions: (1) the sense of vastness and power associated with crossing a line and (2) something new and unclear that needs a process of accommodation to be understood. For example, the Holocaust prompts an emotional state that overwhelms the natural boundaries of individual experience. Disruptive and powerful events, fractures in history can bring to the surface something that should be hidden: the human ability to kill and to do so in a rational manner.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oriana Binik
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly

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