Shklovsky’s “Art and Literature”

In Victor Shklovsky’s writings, he recites how poetic form is tied intimately with artistic expression. From what I have gathered of his opinions, the use of imagery is essential in writing either poetry or prose. An author must view and recount an object as if they have never seen it before. This idea of “defamiliarization” is the key to describing and effectively portraying a narrative to the reader. Shklovsky writes, “I personally feel that defamiliarization is found almost everywhere form is found… An image is not a permanent referent for those mutable complexities of life which are revealed through it; its purpose is not to make us perceive meaning, but to create a special perception of the object – it creates a “vision” of the object instead of serving as a means for knowing it”. He requires that authorship and readership reexamine imagery and recreate it through a fresh lens. Art and form are established in this way and coexist together, generating a novel way to interpret and devise literature. He believes that the best writers are  those who use this technique whilst writing. Artistic expression, in his opinion, carries the most weight and forces itself to be effective on the page.

Shklovsky, Victor. “Art as Technique.” Ed. David H. Richter. The Critical Tradition. Third ed. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2007. 774-84. Print.