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“Myths do not flow through the pipes of history,” writes Viktor Shklovsky, “they change and splinter, they contrast and refute one another. The similar turns out to . Bowstring: On the Dissimilarity of the Similar. Viktor Shklovsky. Dalkey Archive, $ trade paper (p) ISBN And this is the upshot of Bowstring’s subtitle, On the Dissimilarity of the Similar: new works of art preserve the outmoded genre conventions.

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Ttt rated it really liked it Sep 13, Near the end of Bowstringhe summarizes his position plainly: Having said that, Shklovsky’s comparison between the aforementioned Mann novel and the economy found in the original Biblical “novella” has had a profound impact on my thinking.

Witness to an Era Russian Literature. July 13, at These writers, the conventional wisdom goes, sap the life from art.

Bowstring | Dalkey Archive Press

No trivia or quizzes yet. For example, Shklovsky cites Heraclitus, offering a glimpse of his position regarding the interpretation of individual works: In large part, the recuperation of fabula and the dissimilxrity of estrangement require Shklovsky to account for the historicity of literary texts, their relations to their immediate historical contexts.

On page Similqr read this sentence; “I have lived a long life, I have seen crowds, been on many roads, and I know what a wet overcoat smells like.

To everyone except writers of fiction and poetry, this position sounds distressingly inhuman, painfully mechanical, regrettably ahistorical, perhaps even philosophically bogus. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in thw to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. He discusses fairy tales and parables, Shakespeare and Pushkin, ancient Hindu sacred narratives, and he also comments on techniques in painting and cinema.


It has been needlessly prolonged and it lacks in emotion. However, readers are richly compensated for their pains as virtually every page of Bowstring contains a radiant apothegm, a one-sentence koan of arresting power.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. He also returns once more as he had several times over his life to his criticism of the more well-known Mikhail Bakhtin.

For the literary scholar, the centerpiece of the book is Shklovsky’s continual reappraisal of his earliest ideas as one of the architects of formalist poetics; the id I came to this book after having read Silvija Jestrovic’s “Theatre of Estrangement. Feb 14, Sunny rated it liked it Shelves: And one gets the sense that Shklovsky is here explicitly linking his theory of literature to the convulsions of history: Inna rated it it was amazing Sep 08, Perfectly readable, and I can tell that there is something significant there, but it eludes me.

But Shklovsky himself acknowledges that this is hardly new, and in fact, Bowstring ultimately proffers conclusions that seem eerily familiar. There is wisdom in this injunction, naturally, but coming from Shklovsky, it feels like a confession bpwstring under bare-bulb duress, a defeatist compromise struck between his revolutionary ideas and the precepts of Socialist art. Joshua Frame rated it liked it May 08, Set up a giveaway.

Some of the best bits in the book were: Here, over fifty years later with so many of his loved ones dead and his literary heroes destroyed by the decades of Stalinism, Shklovsky throws much doubt on the brash pronouncements of his youth. While, in the end, Shklovsky sounds like a weary humanist devoted to art like a religion of universalism, the greater wisdom lies in these short poetic observations. It allows us to concentrate our attentions in new ways on literary works, to see new facets of their construction, and perhaps this remains the necessary first step before we yhe synthesize the two poles once more.


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Sterne, Tolstoy were trying to return the sensation of what? Middlethought rated it it was amazing Aug 05, Further, in aggregate, the work is a manifesto of sorts—a little wistful, a bit opaque—about the purpose and processes of literature. Perhaps Shklovsky feels that clarification is unnecessary, but he also chooses not to prosecute this disagreement in a linear and explicit fashion. There’s a problem loading this menu right now.

AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Eric rated it really liked it Jul 30, Shklovsky reflects on his early work and renders an unequivocal verdict: Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. This is the sort of book that teaches one about the possibilities of a different kind of writing by the way it’s written, more so than by it’s own declarations about literature.

Bowstring: On the Dissimilarity of the Similar by Victor Shklovsky

I am getting acquainted. The book allows us to take the measure of latter-day Formalism, and, like all great books, it takes the measure of us.

Kate rated it it was amazing Jun 23, However, Shklovsky discusses very candidly the faulty premises on which he had founded his interpretive house. I have lived with “Bowstring’ for the past two months.


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