Alienating Readers

I'd forgotten just how annoyed people get with V-effect....


" Brecht first used the term in an essay on "Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting" published in 1936, in which he described it as "playing in such a way that the audience was hindered from simply identifying itself with the characters in the play. Acceptance or rejection of their actions and utterances was meant to take place on a conscious plane, instead of, as hitherto, in the audience's subconscious""

It's not something very popular these days, as it conflicts with the controls inherent in media messaging which are all about manipulating the subconscious. In order 'to prepare to be ready to achieve your potential'.

People have certain expectations of what a poem should be.

In essence it should be a vacuum that by use of rhythm, and possibly rhyme, creates the space onto which the imagery is punched. There is a certain soporific quality to it. The problem is that often this is interpreted as niceness - both in the literal sense and it's kitschy common usage.

Rather than disappear up my fundament with explaining further, and getting into the back alleys of exceptions, I'll offer an example of my use of V effect.

Here's me reading Bleaching a Mouse.

And yes the incident did occur.

After months of reasoning with the mouse, trying to ignore it, trap it, starve it, poison it, chase it out of the house, catch it to release it, I finally happened to find it in a bucket, grabbed a bottle of bleach and drowned it. Then to make sure I poured a kettle of bottling water into the bucket - which led created the chemical reaction described in the poem.

The whole affair was rather shocking to me, having never killed anything other than insects. It exposed something rather primitive akin to a the classic cartoon witchdoctor. Indeed, at one point in the stand off with the mouse I did rig up a spear with a bread knife and a broomstick - quite what I expected to do with it I can't say; though I did find myself fantasizing of engaging in epic gladiatorial combat as the rodent acquired the proportions of a lion.

But the truth is that a) I didn't want to kill it for reasons of karma, and b) if it had to die I would prefer it did so in a commonplace way, with a sprung wire snapping it's neck.

And for the same karmic reasons I wrote the poem, in honour of death of this worthy opponent.

The list sets the scene in as simple a manner as possible, drawing the reader into a commonplace scene. And then comes the expression of the madness of violence. Followed by the catharsis of the funeral scene.

Cue the disclaimer, 'an animal was harmed in the making of this poem'.

Some people get it. That the poem is a statement about the treatment of animals and the transcendental nature of violence at a conscious level.

Others don't, preferring to rely on the subconscious reaction and appeals to propriety.

Which shows the intended alienation was successful.

Cue random picture to make the facebooks look nice