March 21 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
How to Understand and Use Aesthetic Distance
If you went to the theater to watch a production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” you probably did not run out of the theater to call the police because a murder was happening on the stage. You knew it was only play-acting and not real. This human realization that the observed object is an element of art and not reality is called “aesthetic distance.” It creates a mental separation in which you can appreciate and appraise the work of art on an entirely artistic basis. What happens at the same time is that author’s creation of a certain amount of distance is entirely controlling your response to the art object itself. Authors have the ability to make you feel an intimate part of their dramatized reality or almost entirely separate from it, and many different degrees of distance between. This variance of distance is achieved through use of fictional, dramatic, or poetic techniques. These techniques are the devices of point of view. This seminar will introduce you to published examples and thought in-class exercises show you when and how to manipulate various responses of distance in your stories, plays, and poems.