Viktor Shklovsky A Reader

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-12-01
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Viktor Shklovsky (1893-1984) was both patriarch and enfant terrible of Formalism, a literary and film scholar, a fiction writer and the protagonist of other people's novels, instructor of an armoured division and professor at the Art History Institute, revolutionary and counterrevolutionary. His work was deeply informed by his long and eventful life. He wrote for over 70 years, both as a very young man in the wake of the Russian revolution and as a ninety year old, never tiring of analyzing the workings of literature. Shklovsky's work is aphoristic, essayistic, startlingly thought-provoking, and eminently readable.

Viktor Shklovsky: A Reader is the first book that collects crucial writings from across Shklovsky's career, serving as an entry point for first-time readers. It presents new translations of key texts as well as important work that has not appeared in English before. The theoretical writing is interspersed with excerpts from memoirs and letters that illuminate the essays.

“What we call art exists in order to give back the sensation of life”, wrote Shklovsky in 1917. Literary and film scholarship, as practiced by him, exist in order to give back the sensation of art.

Author Biography

Viktor Shklovsky (1893-1984) was one of the foremost literary critics and theorists of the 20th century. One of the founders of the Formalist movement in literary criticism, his seminal works include “Art as Method” (1917), Theory of Prose (1925), Third Factory (1926), classic studies of Tolstoy and Mayakovsky, and a memoir of the Russian civil-war era, A Sentimental Journey: Memoirs, 1917–1922 (1923).

Alexandra Berlina is Postdoctoral Researcher in Literary Studies at the University of Erfurt, Germany. Her translations of Brodsky's poems "Dido and Aeneas" and "You can't tell a gnat..." have won awards from the 'Willis Barnstone Translation Prize' and the 'The Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize'. She is the author of Brodsky Translating Brodsky (Bloomsbury, 2014).

Table of Contents

Alexandra Berlina
Shklovsky: Selected Quotes

Part I: Early Writing

Resurrecting the Word, 1914
Art as a Method, 1917
Memories I-childhood and youth
- The Construction of the Novella and the Novel, 1921
- Literature Beyond Plot, 1921
- Knight's Move, 1923
Memories II-the beginnings of Russian formalism
-Techniques of the Writing Craft, 1927
Memories III-Roman Jacobson and other friendships
- Connecting Devices of Plotting to General Stylistic Devices, 1929
Memories IV-Sergey Eisenstein and the Russian revolution

Part II: Late Writing

- Tales of Prose I: Western Prose, 1966
- Tales of Prose II: Russian Prose, 1966

from The Bowstring, 1970:
- On Unity
- On Riddles and Hidden Conflicts
- The Human Being in the Wrong Place
- The New in Shakespeare
- The Functions of Parts in the Whole
- Content and Conflict
- History and Time
- The Antinovel and the Antifilm

-The Energy of Error: Conclusion, 1981

- Rhyme in Poetry. Rhyme in Prose. Structuralism and the World behind the Looking Glass, 1982
Shklovsky: Letters to his Grandson I
- Sterne, 1982 (4600 words)
Shklovsky: Letters to his Grandson II
- Doublings and parallelisms, 1982
Shklovsky: Letters to his Grandson III


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