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  • Topic: Viktor Shklovsky, Russian formalism, Poetry
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  • Published : January 28, 2013
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VIKTOR SHKLOVSKY
"ART AS TECHNIQUE"

Viktor Shklovsky:
* Russian and Soviet critic, writer, and pamphleteer.
* In 1916 he founded the OPOYAZ, one of the two groups, with the Moscow Linguistic Circle, which developed the critical theories and techniques of Russian Formalism. * He is best known for developing the concept of “ostranenie” or “defamiliarization” in literature. He explained the concept in the important essay "Art as Technique" (also translated as "Art as Device").

Art as Technique:
* “as perception becomes habitual, it becomes automatic”; „things are replaced by symbols” Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important. * Art “removes objects from the automatism of perception in several ways”; “makes the familiar seem strange by not naming the familiar object” = DEFAMILIARIZATION; * Defamiliarization is the artistic trademark – „created to remove the automatism or perception”; „the purpose is to create the vision which results from that deautomatised perception”; it is “found almost everywhere form is found”; it creates a ‘vision’ of the object instead of serving as a means for knowing it. * „A work is created ‘artistically’ so that its perception is impeded and the greatest possible effect is produced the slowness of perception.”,” The “language of poetry is, then, a difficult, roughened, impeded language “ designed to prolong the act of perception by contrast to the smoothness of prose which is designed to facilitate comprehension. Shklovsky concludes by turning his attention to the syntagmatic axis of poetry. To this end, he considers whether a poem’s rhythm would undermine the distinction between prose and poetry which he has drawn to this point. He admits that the use of rhythms in ordinary language (e.g. the songs which workers sing while they work or soldiers when they march) can make tasks easier to perform. However, he maintains, this is not the case with poetry: there is...
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