The book is about beauty in a terrorizing world. More specifically, it is about the subjective experience of the beautiful in the face of terror and human tragedy. I am defending the proposition that behind the horror, repulsion, and outrage felt by humanity before images of natural or manmade catastrophes/acts of terror(ism) throughout the centuries lurks a kind of inexplicable individual fascination which is closely connected to the Kantian idea of the disinterested judgement of the beautiful. At stake is an aesthetic experience of the beautiful, that most of us, eyewitnesses or other, would not be willing to acknowledge due to the immorality of such a concession. That feeling which goes unacknowledged because improper is a forbidden feeling and the aesthetics connected with it is a forbidden aesthetics.
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens