In a book on Modern Literary Criticism and theory by M.Habib, (chapter 23), explains the m,eaning of formalisms, and its effects on society (as i saw it). M. Habib says that: "Formalists’ analyses were far more theoretical, seeking to understand the general nature of literature and literary devices, as well as the historical evolution of literary techniques; the New Critics were more concerned with the practice (rather than the theory) of close reading of individual texts."
As for other books, for instance the 'Literary Theory Introduction' by T.Eagleton, explains that "formalists started out by seeing the literay work as a more or less arbitrary assemblage of 'devices'".
But as I noticed both books start by explaining that the Formalist theroues were started by Russian schools founded by Russian writers such as,Victor Shklovsky, Boris
Eichenbaum, and Yuri Tynyanov.
These three writers were the bases of the formalist movement,and each one of them had a different perception of this theory. For instance, Shklovsky says that "The technique of art is to make objects ‘unfamiliar,’ to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important"
Hence Shklovsky’s formalism can endure cultural change and the status of radical innovation can be endured (according to his theory that is).
Whereas for Eichenbaum, the formalist movement was characterized according to this founder, a type of scientific positivism.
Going back to the formalists theory "Shklovsky rejected the traditional notion of plot as a combination of motifs (the smallest units of narrative); plot was no longer viewed as synonymous with “story”; rather, it was viewed as a compositional device rather than a thematic concept."
As i saw it Formalism was based on being a parasite to the former theories, making them meaningless in a way, and giving their own ideas and reformations the best interest. Thus, making the formalist theory include later defamiliarization which is not a bit close to positivism.
According to theses great writers and theorists one should appreciate life better, not sit and ponder of great ideas that are only found in fiction.
No! Listen, What Happened is this
5 years ago