Estrangement Effect [Verfremdungseffekt] (3228 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Gerhard P. Knapp (University of Utah)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error

Context

Verfremdungseffekt (German Verfremdung = making strange something that is known or familiar) is commonly, if not very accurately, translated as “alienation effect”. Perhaps more appropriate, although less frequently encountered, are the translations “distancing” or “estrangement effect”. Verfremdungseffekt applies to the function of any theatrical device or technique designed to dispel the audience's notion that “reality” is directly represented or enacted on stage. Verfremdung creates an “estranged”, i.e. detached, and potentially rational, reception of a play, and thus counteracts the spectators' e…

Citation: Knapp, Gerhard P.. "Estrangement Effect [Verfremdungseffekt]". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 December 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=355, accessed 16 January 2022.]

355 Estrangement Effect [Verfremdungseffekt] 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.