In his work, Shklovsky states that, “The language of poetry, is, then, a difficult, roughened, impeded language. In a few special instances the language of poetry approximates the language of prose, but this does not violate the principle of the ‘roughened’ form” (Shlovsky).
I found this work to be most interesting in the way that Shklovsky explains the form that poetry takes. He explains that poetry, like any art, must use techniques to “defamiliarize” the reader in order to allow him to consciously perceive the work. By using “roughened, impeded language,” Shklovsky explains that the poet uses this literary form in order to succeed in prolonging the time it takes to fully perceive it. Shklovsky also notes that “the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself.” My question to Shklovsky is, can’t a poem still maintain its aesthetic qualities without having to defamiliarize the reader? Can’t a poem still be as strong and admired with a rather simple literary form? Because personally, like many others, I have come across many simple poems with soft language or prose form, that have also prolonged my perception in admiring it.
” All that I desire to point out is the general principle that Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life, and I feel sure that if you think seriously about it you will find that it is true. Life holds the mirror up to Art, and either reproduces some strange type imagined by painter or sculptor, or realizes in fact what has been dreamed in fiction. Scientifically speaking, the basis of life—the energy of life, as Aristotle would call it—is simply the desire for expression and Art is always presenting various forms through which this expression can be attained. Life seizes on them and uses them, even if they be to her own hurt.”
–The Decay of Lying, Oscar Wilde
There are many instances in modern times where one can argue that Life imitates Art. For example, the responsibility of fashion designers as well as fashion magazines is to create new clothing trends and to provide consumers with visual experiences of these trends (via runway shows or spreads in magazines). It is then the consumers’ job to take those pieces of art that the designers and editors created and compiled and to implement them into their own lives. However, it has to be noted that art does not just emerge from nothingness. Artists, whether they be poets or painters or musicians, draw inspiration from life and their own personal experiences. They also create their art with their consumers in mind. They often think about what will appeal to the masses and how they can do it in a way so that they won’t ruffle anyone’s feathers. I think the issue of delegating whether or not one form imitates the other is too complex to elect one being superior of the other. Instead, there are various circumstances in which either one can be argued for.
Wilde, Oscar. “The Decay of lying.” The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. By David H. Richter. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007. 491. Print.
“But in modern days while the fashion of writing poetry has become far too common, and should, if possible, be discouraged, the fashion of lying has almost fallen into disrepute” (Wilde 9).
Lying has always been presumed as a negative thing. You’re taught at a young age that lying is wrong. Then we are also taught to have and share our opinions, which are not always accurate to say the least, but wouldn’t be labeled as lies. As stated above, poetry is held in high esteem, yet lying isn’t. To be technical one could say any fiction is lying, although each bit of fiction comes from some part of the truth. So if one thought this way, anything not entirely true or accurate is a lie. Therefore poetry would be considered lying. But perhaps this quote could sway the negative connotation lying has. Yes maybe poetry & art & fiction are lies, but who says thats a bad thing? Especially when the Art of Lying sounds so intriguing.
Wilde, Oscar, and Percival Pollard. Intentions: The Decay of Lying, Pen, Pencil and Poison, the Critic as Artist, the Truth of Masks. New York: Brentano’s, 1905. Web