Sublime is………………………

If you think about your entire working life, can you spot the most memorable
moment you have experienced? When did you feel to have actually reached the top? Well, in my honorable 25 year teaching career I have no trouble to say, that it happened a couple of years ago. The occasion was a lesson on Burke’s essay ” A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas the Beautiful  and Sublime“. The topic was quite challenging considering that the average student of that class was not much into philosophical debates on aesthetic dualism, but rather into erudite discussion on the best possible scheme to adopt for the next football match. On this they had no rivals and could speak for hours, in any language, if necessary. On such a topic, what kind of feed-back might I have expected?  Very likely the only one I could have had, if I had been in a stadium and started to discourse about the kind of emotions Beauty and Sublime may convey between the first and the second half of the match, I guess.

Whoever has ever read some of my articles is well aware that football is very important to me.  Whenever the subject of the post allows it, my football passion echoes between the lines. I am a supporter of one of the two teams of Rome, in fact: S.S. Lazio. Now, it happens that the class above mentioned, actually, belonged to the other club : A.S. Roma. You have to know this football dualism does not represent only the eternal fight between enemy factions like, Romolo and Remo, the Guelfs and the Ghibellines, the Capulets and the Montagues etc. , but it is more. There are psychological traits that attract you on one side rather the other. The Roma supporters are quite dogmatic: they firmly believe that A.S.Roma is a sort of faith that cannot be discussed, but loved only. That is why they start the season with the utmost certainties of victory, which are regularly shattered after few months. The typical Lazio supporter, on the contrary, is more pessimistic, less dogmatic and open to bitter criticism. They are the yin and the yang of Roman football passion, in short. In  more than a century of disputes even the number of trophies won by both teams is quite similar: just a few. As a rule, if we take 10 supporters, 7 of them usually belong to A.S. Roma and  3 for S.S. Lazio, but in that class the presence of the latters was even below average : one out of 25, as far as I can remember.

Going back to Burke, at the end of the lesson, I could not actually make out the real feed-back, as I mostly saw dumb faces, which looked like masks, the masks of politeness they usually wore whenever they wanted to seem attentive, while they were actually thinking to something else. Therefore, I decided to assign a homework: choose a picture, a drawing etc. which represents the concept of sublime for you and write a comment; hoping they wouldn’t come up with a picture of a pizza Margherita. I had not considered that the day of the assignment, was a Monday, or better, the Monday after what we call the”Derby”, that is, the match of the matches: Rome vs Lazio.

We lost: 4-1 and it was the third time in a row. You may guess how unwilling I was to face all the jokes and mockeries that are the inevitable follow-up after a lost match and I felt that particularly those “scoundrels” might have prepared something. However, when I came into the class they looked a kind of indifferent: no shirts and scarves of their team or pictures scattered around as usual. Nothing. As I knew them well, I didn’t trust this apparent nonchalance and I decided to make some hints, just to excite a reaction, but in vain.  All I had in return was: “Oh, the Derby, yes, we won“.Stop.

So much the better. Since there was nothing to be said about the match I started to check the homework and I said: “Daniele, show me the picture you chose to explain your idea of Sublime!” “Of course“, was his prompt reply, but with an evil smile which I couldn’t miss. And there it was his Sublime. He had a sheet with a patchwork of images of the victory. There was a sneering captain Totti right in the middle and a big inscription at the top in bold : “Sublime is……..Roma 4 – Lazio 1″. As soon as I had finished to read it, I realized that all his other mates, even the girls, were exhibiting the same leaflet with a big smile. They had won, again.



66 thoughts on “Sublime is………………………

  1. How to be subtle, sinister and scheming, all at the same time! If it’s any consolation, Stefy, I think I too, would have the characteristics to be a Lazio fan — if I was remotely interested in football! (With one hand I giveth, with the other I taketh away. 😊)

  2. A friend, a teacher of literature, always says that the most memorable moment of her career came when, after many weeks plodding through ‘Macbeth’ with a non-very-engaged class one girl asked, with a puzzled but dawning-comprehension expression, “Is Macbeth a MAN?”

    • Tell your friend, that after a year course on Hamlet – a year!!! – a girl claimed that Ophelia was Hamlet’s mother. When I mentioned Gertrude, she said: ” Gertrude, who?” 😳😅

  3. Being a Lazio supporter (still wondering how is that possible) really exposes oneself to many, many kinds of mockeries!

  4. Football and philosophy, a pretty damn good partnership.

    I have a soft spot for Roma, but my team is Parma, now Parma Calcio 1913, looking to clamber out Serie B. I remember Football Italia in the early 2000s when Lazio were a top team…and Parma had an amazing squad…glory days.

    • It was 2000 when Lazio won the Italian Foolball Legue. I went to the stadium, sure that we would have arrived only second even that season and the team we had to play against was Parma. A victory would not have been enough to reach the top unless Juventus had lost with Perugia. And you know what? They lost and this is how we managed to win, beating Parma 3-0. Unfornulately the following season was won by A.S.Rome.

  5. now I know why you are so seasoned – 25+ years of teaching!!!
    and I love what that other commenter wrote and must say ditto:

    Football and philosophy, a pretty damn good partnership.

  6. I thought of sublime moments – what a lovely thought, and apart from my first baby sucking her thumb as she was placed in my arms at birth, there was the moment after I had finished giving a talk to a hundred unknown teenagers. I had decided to risk myself, and I talked to them about love. When I finished they stood and stamped and clapped and shouted… they knew love is the only thing that matters !!!!

  7. Although I am almost totally detached from a sport where people chase a ball, it is always fun to see the two “factions” bother each other, make fun of themselves and sometimes even fight just for a match

  8. Fortunately, there are many things in the world that I call “sublime”, which make me feel strong emotions, which give me pleasure if I watch them or hear them.
    What I call “sublime” are mainly the actions I perform, in fact dancing for me is a strong emotion, incomparable to any other. Listening to music, hearing a beautiful song, which enters inside me and moves my soul. Everything that is art is “sublime”. What we call art: painting, sculpture, dance, theater, writing, the art of cooking, the art of sewing, etc is all that makes the world go forward better. Without physics or mathematics we human would not go anywhere, but to make our life on earth pleasant, to make it profound and exciting, we need everything that is “sublime”.

  9. For me, “sublime” is a type of happiness that can be experienced, living experiences out of the norm, experiences that run away from the everyday life. In my opinion, this type of sensation must be sought by choice because by remaining still or better, by not taking any action, you can’t experience this sensation. I have sometimes experienced the “sublime” sensation, but I am convinced it exists in different intensities. For me, “sublime” was when Lazio won 3-1 with Juventus in the supercoppa, or even in the championship. For me “sublime” was the feeling of love when I was engaged, when you understand that someone loves you for who you are. As I said before, in my opinion, there are different intensities, and to experience the “sublime” of maximum intensity you must not only get out of everyday life but also follow your passion or desire. Personally, I do not think I have ever tried the maximum intensity of “sublime” but for me it could be riding a racing bike like the MotoGp ones, because right now it’s what I want the most.

  10. For me “sublime” are simple things. In my opinion, simplicity is the key of everything; for example: hanging out with your friend, having a good afternoon at the cinema or having a long walk with your boyfriend or best friend at the beach. Obviously even challenging things can be fun, but I’d rather stay an evening at home surrounded by my lose friends rather than complicate my life.

  11. When we talk about “sublime” I can’t help to talk about A.S Roma. If the sublime is that deep emotion which makes you feel alive, A.S Roma is the perfect definition of it. Ok, maybe as I am a supporter of A.S Roma this can affect my comment, but this is not the point. The emotions and the feelings that this team makes me feel are fantastic. But this sublime is not always positive: in fact, it is also connected to its opposite that is fear. Fear is an emotion even stronger than love. So, the suspense before a match together with the fear to lose it create that particular emotion of sublime! …and always FORZA ROMA!

  12. For me something “sublime” is something that makes you feel very strong emotions. All the types of art can be sublime. I find the “sublime” in music, from playing an instrument to just listening a song. For me music is an important thing of my life and helped me a lot through my life path. There are many sublime things I think. Anything that can give you a strong emotion is sublime. As we talked recently in the last video lesson, I agree saying that the strongest emotion possible is fear. Anyway even love and many others are sublime emotions.

  13. It’s a little bit difficult for me to not associate the idea of “sublime” to As Roma comeback against Barcelona in 2018. However, for me sublime could mean a lot of things. First of all, it’ doing something that I love doing, that makes you feel alive. For example, I really enjoy travelling, meeting new people, exploring new places, for me that’s sublime.
    Then sublime can also mean feeling the moment, being in the “zone”. A state of mind, when you are so focused on what you’re doing that you feel like you cannot be stopped. It happens quite a lot in sport. When I used to play basketball, I have experienced this feeling a few times and it was wonderful, sublime.

  14. We can say that sublime is something that arouses in us strong emotions. Obviously, first of all I think about A.S.Roma. When my team plays a match, I always fell a lot of strong emotions, all together. In my short life as supporter, I had one moment in particular, that I can define “sublime”. Of course, I’m talking about that 10/4/2018, when we had that sublime come back against Barcelona. I remember that just finished the match, I started screaming and I ran out of my house, without my shoes, and with my flag in hand, to go celebrate that event with my friends. Maybe I’m trivial, but I hope to live some similar moments with my team.

  15. In my opinion the word ‘sublime’ can only be associated with something spectacular. In fact, for this reason, if you put me an article about my favorite team, the first team of the Capital, well… I can’t help talking about it. Being a true fan, I can express the concept of sublime when I go to the stadium, as if it were always the first time. An indescribable, magnificent emotion that is always repeated, mixed with that pre-match fear that still makes me shiver. For each person ‘sublime’ can be whatever he loves to do like doing sports, listening to music, reading, whatever you can love in life and that you can’t do without.

  16. When we talk about Sublime, for me it indicates a very specific feeling and it immediately brings to mind some of the most beautiful victories that I have conquered in the water in recent years. For me, in fact, the word sublime, as a good Roma supporter, means victory, the joy of seeing your dreams and goals come true after many sacrifices. It all boils down to that moment of glory and peace when you look at the game board and see the desired result, that moment of peace, joy, pride and serenity, that is Sublime for me.

  17. In my opinion Sublime is something very beautiful, that arouses feelings by only looking at it and it makes us laugh and feel good all the times we think about it. This can vary from person to person because we are different from each other.

  18. In my opinion, the Sublime is the union of a class that supports the AS Roma and joins together to go against the teacher. All this after making her believe that nobody cared about the event. This is Sublime.

  19. I think that something may be considered as “sublime” if it makes me feel strong emotions; luckily there are lot of stuff in the world that can make me feel that, from something simple and sometimes underestimated like messing around with friend -something that this period, everybody of us would probably need-, or the music; or something hardest to achieve like love or the dream’s job.
    It may be something that physically exist like the nature, or something abstract like an idea.

  20. In my opinion is not so easy to express the concept of sublime. Just to start we assume that the concept of “sublime” is something totally subjective so it’s not the same for all of us. “Sublime” for me is something that complete another thing which is already good for example the icing of a cake making it kind of perfect and when you’re thinking about something “sublime” you’re aware that it couldn’t be better.

  21. Sublime For me it’s something that isn’t too much beutiful but something that take place in the right beauty canon for that thing of which we are talking about

  22. “sublime” for me is something that can erase all the bad feelings and emotions, just looking or tasting at it. The concept of sublime can change from person to person, for somebody can be the flavor of a cake, for other spending time with friend or your girlfriend/boyfriend.

  23. Sublime in my opinion is a feeling of happiness which in that moment makes you feel superior to anything, as something satisfying which for me is manifested mostly in seeing your “enemy” defeated, but it’s not the same feeling for all of us, it’s an subjective feeling.I don’t know if i have ever tried the true concept of sublime, but there are a lot of things that can make me very happy, for example money.

  24. The sublime is something that excels and that gives you a strong feeling of charm, making you forget any other thoughts.
    I also think that the sublime concept is subjective and different from person to person because everyone has a different judgment key based on their beliefs and experiences.

  25. Reading the article seems strange to me that you say you have reached it the top of your carrer during a lesson that followed one pupil out of 25. Knowing her, I think she did more interesting and engaging lessons. A smart move by the boys, at the beginning they made believe her that they were indifferent and then they pointed out that there isn’t nothing more beautiful than winning the Derby.
    As you said, 7 out of 10 are the Roma supporters, anyone should expect such a thing.

  26. I particularly liked the post and how the most “sublime” point of your career came at a very random time. I dont support any team but I know how important derby is in the capital because my younger brother is a big fan of S.S. Lazio and when he talks about football, he remains in his world and does not open up to other opinions. Finally I think that the search for the sublime is something extremely personal and subjective and everyone have to look for it with patience.

  27. for me the sublime is something difficult to explain, I think I have had this feeling a few times
    maybe two
    when I won the championship with my football team and when Roma made the “feat” against Barcelona. Obviously the concept of “sublime” is something totally subjective so it’s not the same for all of us. But I think the sublime is something that happens in a group, like when her pupils brought her the photo of Roma’s fabulous victory.

  28. football, one of my favorite passions. The trick that his class prepared for her was very nice, but it must be taken lightly. In fact, there are people with whom you cannot joke with this thing. Although football in my opinion can not be called sublime …… Come on Roma!

  29. Personally I don’t follow football and I don’t care to follow it. I find that your students behavior was immature and not very delicate even if they were from a rival football team. Everyone do little uncomfortable questions to annoy people, but that behavior seems exaggerated to me.
    People have different point of view about sublime. Sublime can make its way into a passion, in a random moment that we think was our sublime moment even if others think differently. So for me sublime change in every person so is a subjective thought.

  30. I wasn’t sure I understood what the true meaning of the word “sublime” was. But after the last explanation of the teacher on Romanticism, and maybe also thanks to the reading of this article, I think I have understood it now. Sublime is something subjective, which reaches the highest levels in spiritual values. I believe that even the word “sublime” expresses this concept, the sound of this word. A sublime thing is a symbol of strong emotions.

  31. In my opinion the concept of sublime is very close to a strong feeling. I’m not a big football fan, but I grew up with my parents who are hardcore fans.
    I don’t like to follow football on TV, but I really like going to the stadium; everyone singing, everyone is happy (especially if you win) and for those 90 minutes you feel like you’re part of something beautiful, like a big family.

  32. Who supports AS Roma, never loses.
    In football, like in all sports, there are philosophical ideas about Sublime and Beauty. Personally, I think rugby is polite and ritual sublimation of War: it’s hard and sore, but it’s noble and loyal too.
    In 18/19th century these two concepts – Beauty and Sublime – face each other between Neoclassical supporters and Romantic ones. Reasons of Beauty are technical and objective, while Sublime is extremely subjective: It’s a emotion felt, without a mediation, without stylist filters or historic standards.
    About football..
    In my opinion, to support own favorite team during the entire week, it’s a sort of catarsys and sublime. I believe the narration, the writing or a figurative representation brings to the sublimation of event and makes it eternal. After all, these situations, these emotions, these feelings are ineffable, are pure, absolute. They can be only lived with ardor. The unconditioned love, which links Her supporters to AS Roma, necessarily quotes the definition of “delightful horror” by Edmund Burke. Many people say AS Roma environment be lunatic. FALSE, it’s simply sublime.

  33. When I talk about “sublime”, I refer to something that has aroused strong emotions in me. Of course, it is something subjective.
    I usually think back to when I scored three goals in the league finals with my team. I felt totally fulfilled and proud of myself. That moment was perfect!

  34. In my opinion the concept of the sublime changes from person to person, because the sublime is a very strong feeling and mostly subjective.

  35. “Sublime” is absolutely a subjective thing,because if we ask about ten people, we could get ten different answers. I think there are two kinds of “sublime”. The first one is in those unique and amazing experiences, that will never repeat in your life. Instead ,the second type, is found in what may be the small things of life, which sometimes can also be part of our daily life, like those people who are part of you and make you the person you are. The latter is the kind of sublime that I prefer.

  36. Sublime is a very strong emotion, which can be caused by many things. A fantastic feeling, that relaxes you and makes you feel good, everyone would like to live as many moments as possible that make you feel this emotion. I think it’s a subjective thing, everyone reaches the “sublime” in their own way.

  37. For me sublime, in this time, will be when we will able to leave our houses. It will be when we will hug our friends, when we will able to have a coffee without worry, when going to the beach or going for a walk will become normal actions again. This is sublime for me.. and I cant’t wait to feel it.

  38. I was born into a family of Roma fans so I was referred since I was child. If someone had asked me the day after that victory of Roma what the sublime was, I would have replied as the boys of that class. Then I thought about how much I was anxious since the morning of the derby. I believe that every fan who respects that of the derby is never a care-free day. Each time the fear of losing is greater than the satisfaction of victory, always if your team wins.

  39. I don’t consider football sublime, we give it too much importance on something that could perhaps be rigged, but I too must admit, like everyone else that I have a preference, but it is neither Rome nor Lazio. Sublime for me is a nice surprise a nice place that makes you speechless.

  40. It is difficult to understand when you reach the sublime point of your career. Surely I have not yet reached it, life will offer me various opportunities and I will be the one to give myself the opportunity to discover them. I was very impressed with this post. I state that I am a Roman fan and everything he wrote reflects us. Football is nice to live it is one of my passions, a kind of drug. It makes you live happy moments however the game goes and interrupts daily life. Everyone is waiting for their team to play. What I can say in my opinion is that it cannot be a point to be realized in one’s life, but only a hobby that should be lived with sportiness and happiness without fights.

  41. In my opinion “Sublime” is something that makes you really happy, satisfied, varies from person to person, it’s subjective. For example for me football isn’t, but for other people I know it’s one of the most important things that gives them beautiful emotions. For me “sublime” right now, it’s meeting my friends again and going back to the life of before.

  42. I think that Totti has to be considered an hero. I am an A.S. Roma’s fan and I had seen Totti playing, for this I and the other Roma’s fans think Totti is a legend. He has changed the italian football and he is an heritage for the city. Everywhere you go in Rome we talk about him. Even if he was a football player, he has changed the Roma’s fans life. A legend called Francesco Totti !

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