That quality of poetic diction which makes possible
the felt change of consciousness experienced
through poetry. Barfield uses it to denote a wide variety of effects (e.g.
all of which produce in a reader a sense of the unexpected or unusual.
"[The] aesthetic value of strangeness" Barfield
cautions, "overlaps, but does not coincide with, the ancient and proverbial
truism that familiarity breeds contempt." It is not identical with "wonder"
for wonder is our reaction to things
which we are conscious of not quite understanding, or at any rate of understanding
less than we thought. The element of strangeness in beauty has the contrary
effect. It arises from contact with a different kind of consciousness from
our own, different, yet not so remote that we cannot partly share it, as
indeed, in such a connection, the mere word "contact" implies. Strangeness,
in fact arouses wonder when we do not understand; aesthetic imagination
when we do. (PD 177)
|See in particular "Strangeness" (PD