*from the second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence (final version, 1776).
Latin aliēnus “not one’s own, of others, foreign, strange,” derivative of alius “other” (perhaps going back to *aliai-nos, from an adverbialized locative derivative *aliai “elsewhere”).
homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto: I am a human: I regard nothing human as foreign to me
(from the play Heauton Timorumenos (“The Self-Tormentor”) by Terence (Publius Terentius Afer; c. 190-159 BC), a Roman playwright. He is believed to have been a Carthaginian slave educated and released from slavery by his Roman master.)
“The Alienation Office was a British Government body charged with regulating the ‘alienation’ or transfer of certain feudal lands in England by use of a licence to alienate granted by the king, during the feudal era, and by the government thereafter.
The first regulatory structure for controlling the alienation of feudal lands was created during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272), who issued an ordinance prohibiting his tenants-in-chief from alienating their lands held from him without his specific licence.
In 1576 the Alienation Office was first established on a proper basis.
The office was established in premises (see image) on today’s site of King’s Bench Walk, Temple, London, which now house legal chambers.
The pace of reform in the United Kingdom gathered pace in the 1830s, and the structure of the Alienation Office did not survive that decade. In 1834 land conveyancing was reformed and the system of fines and recoveries was abolished, which left the Alienation Office with no substantial function. It was consequently abolished in 1835.”
L.M. Bogad, writing at beautifultrouble.org:
“Bertolt Brecht, German leftist playwright and director, had nothing but disdain for the conventional, commercial “bourgeois” theater of his time. He considered it a “branch of the narcotics business.” Why? The theater of his time, like most Hollywood movies now, relied on emotional manipulation to bring about a suspension of disbelief for the audience, along with an emotional identification with the main character…
…He soon watched with horror as the Nazi movement gained popular support in his country with its racist, xenophobic demagoguery, relying on similar emotional manipulation. Emotional manipulation was, to him, Enemy Number One of human decency.
It was in this context that Brecht developed his theory of Verfremdungseffekt, also known as V-effekt, alienation effect, or distantiation effect. (Important disclaimer: there is compelling evidence that many of Brecht’s greatest ideas were developed in uncredited cooperation with his artistic partners).
The alienation effect attempts to combat emotional manipulation in the theater, replacing it with an entertaining or surprising jolt. For instance, rather than investing in or “becoming” their characters, they might emotionally step away and demonstrate them with cool, witty, and skillful self-critique. The director could “break the fourth wall” and expose the technology of the theater to the audience in amusing ways. Or a technique known as the social gest could be used to expose unjust social power relationships so the audience sees these relationships in a new way. The social gest is an exaggerated gesture or action that is not to be taken literally but which critically demonstrates a social relationship or power imbalance. For example, workers in a corporate office may suddenly and quickly drop to the floor and kowtow to the CEO…”