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Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown

Aesthetic distance:

An antiromantic term describing the desired distance between the subjective reality of the individual who undergoes experiences and the objective reality of the art that dramatizes experiences through its impersonal form. The term may also be used to describe the proper attitude of the reader, who should recognize the autonomy of art from its creator, neither identifying with the characters nor supposing that the attitudes, ideas, values, emotions, and norms embodied in the work have any necessary or immediate connection with those endorsed by the author in real life.

© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
Director: Ian Lancashire.
Last modified: March 31, 1997