Alienation of the Poetic Image of Salim Barakat

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Hesham M. Abdullah Mohammed S. J. Ibrahim


Alienation means breaking familiarity on the level of significance and meaning; however, understanding the meaning of alienation in literary work needs more efforts and explanations. It is a new concept of an old theme and a modernization of worn repetition status. The function of alienation in the literary work creates shocking and astonishing the audience, confusing their conviction and loosening their postulates, leading them to consider their intellectual backgrounds and real convictions. Here, there is always confusion between the terms ‘alienation, mysteriousness, strangeness, peculiarity, and abnormality’. Mysteriousness is thus different from alienation in the fact that the former is connected with the fear of seeing or hearing unfamiliar things, showing aesthetic experiences as unpleasant and terrifying. Mysteriousness may provoke in us a sense of fear, laughter or astonishment. There is also a difference between the terms ‘strangeness’ and ‘alienation’. Strangeness is mixing between familiar and unfamiliar things. It may take a special form of a familiar thing, which is not expected by a strange person. This thing may be beautiful but scary at the same time. Further, alienation differs from the peculiarity in fact that the latter is everything that is not immediately recognized by human perception. It is a temporary interruption of personal background. Abnormality means hesitation in perceptual judgment on the side of beings when facing an abnormal event. Alienation in poetic texts aims at transferring the perceived and usual things to specific amazing ones to surprisingly make intuitive things more mysterious, attractive and perceptual. Alienation in Salim Barakat’s poems results from using expressive linguistic techniques such as simile and metaphor. All of them break familiarity through expressive methods and expressions, achieving technical literary values for everything usual and familiar in linguistic poetic texts in terms of form and meaning. That is why one is astonished when reading his poems when words create their special context and find their meanings. This is all fulfilled through words, signs, codes, and contexts of the poetic language. Hence, the meaning of this language leads to thinking and alienation, which is a technique intending to affect interpretative capabilities and break the horizons of contexts continuously.

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