Russian Formalism

 

It is a type of literary theory and analysis which originated in Moscow and St. Petersburg in the second half of the twentieth century. The major proponents of this theory are Boris Eichenbaum, Victor Shklovsky and Roman Jacobson. Formalism views literature primarily as a specialized mode of language and proposes a fundamental opposition between the literary or poetical use of language and the ordinary practical use of language. It conceives that the central function of ordinary language is to communicate to auditors a message or information, by reference to the world outside of language. In contrast it views literature as a self focused language and its function is to offer the reader a special mode of experience by drawing attention to its formal features. The linguistics of literature differs from the linguistics of practical discourse, because its laws are oriented toward producing the distinctive feature that formalist call literariness. Jacobson in his essay Linguistics and Poetics says that literariness is what makes a given work a literary work. According to formalists a writer employs techniques like foregrounding and defamiliarization to a make a work literary. To foreground is to bring something into the highest prominence, to make it dominant in perception. By defamiliarisztion, a term Victor Shklovsky uses in his Art as Technique”, formalist mean the technique that the writer adopts to prolong the sensation to experience the artfulness of an object. This is achieved by making familiar things unfamiliar.

1.Where it is originated and when?

Moscow and St. Petersburg in the second half of the twentieth century

2.who are the major proponents?

Boris Eichenbaum, Victor Shklovsky and Roman Jacobson.

3.How it differs from ordinary sppech?

It conceives that the central function of ordinary language is to communicate to auditors a message or information, by reference to the world outside of language. In contrast it views literature as a self focused language and its function is to offer the reader a special mode of experience by drawing attention to its formal features.

4. what is the major function of literature?

 To produce the distinctive feature called literariness

            5 what are the techniques that they employ?

                                Foregrounding and defamiliriation.

  1. What is foregrounding?

To foreground is to bring something into the highest prominence, to make it dominant in perception.

  1. What is defamiliarization?

the technique that the writer adopts to prolong the sensation to experience the artfulness of an object. This is achieved by making familiar things unfamiliar.

 

 

About artinlit

Muhammed Saleem. P.M.M.Phil Scholar in Pondicherry University.
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