Friday, September 22, 2023

Das Unheimliche and Der Verfremdungseffekt

Guess Who? 

The notion of “the uncanny” is prosecuted by both Freud and Heidegger. The particularities of their views may differ but in German the word is the same, Unheimlichkeit, which loosely translates as "eery." Unheimliche bears some resemblance to another German term coined by Brecht with respect to the audience and the players in a theatrical event. Verfremdungseffekt or estrangement is the opposite to the kind of empathic or cathartic experience produced in a Stanislavsky production of a Chekhov play. The familiar becomes unfamiliar and in so doing allows for a healthy didacticism in which one learns by distancing rather than loosing oneself in the fun.

Listen to "Every Little Bit Hurts" by Brenda Holloway

and read the latest review of The Kafka Studies Department by Francis Levy in The East Hampton Star

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