Wednesday, August 22, 2007
On poetic disgust
"When the reader encounters an image that disgusts her, disgust becomes more than a child-like reaction to feces or vomit or blood, more an odd expression of empathy with one who suffers. Empathy as disgust (or is it the other way around?) may seem quite a stretch[...]. Better put: empathy after disgust, as empathy fills the void disgust leaves behind. If the poem forces us to confront rotting meat, then after an interval, we empathize with the character forced to eat it."