Torg Bowstring: On the Dissimilarity of the Similar This alone suggests that readers of every stripe should consult Bowstring. The course of a page might span centuries and continents, and thus, the writer often articulates his conclusions arcanely, and not always convincingly. Kate rated it it was amazing Jun 23, To ask other readers questions about Bowstringplease sign up. July 7, Sold by: He bemoans novelists who would write about novel-writing, poets who would write about composing poems—that is, those who make fabula of suzhetcontent of form.
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Here, over fifty years later with so many of his loved ones dead and his literary heroes destroyed by the decades of Stalinism, Shklovsky throws much doubt on the brash pronouncements of his youth. He also returns once more as he had several times over his life to his criticism of the more well-known Mikhail Bakhtin. If the early Shklovksy is faulted for ignoring the importance of sentiment in art, the limitations of Bakhtin stemmed from too much fondness in his own ideas at the expense of a commonsense reading of his sources.
The devil, he seems to be chiding the author of "Rabelais and His World" is in the details. What impresses me most about "Bowstring" is the writing itself.
A lifetime of studying literature produced in Shklovsky an incredible literary voice that is at once angry, mournful, and even hopeful against all evidence seen. The book itself moves casually between recapitulations of novellas by Tolstoy, accounts of long-dead literary scholars that Shklovksy refers to with great affection as among his friends, and simply exquisite observations.
On page I read this sentence; "I have lived a long life, I have seen crowds, been on many roads, and I know what a wet overcoat smells like. In fact, it was because of these sorts of prizes that I read the entire book. While, in the end, Shklovsky sounds like a weary humanist devoted to art like a religion of universalism, the greater wisdom lies in these short poetic observations. But for now, I am quite moved by having come to the end of this book. Having finished it, I feel like I have come to the end of a especially precious day that I know will never be lived again.
Bowstring: On the Dissimilarity of the Similar