Energy of Delusion: A Book on Plot

Front Cover
Dalkey Archive Press, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 427 pages
4 Reviews

One of the greatest literary minds of the twentieth century, Viktor Shklovsky writes the critical equivalent of what Ross Chambers calls "loiterature"writing that roams, playfully digresses, moving freely between the literary work and the world. In Energy of Delusion, a masterpiece that Shklovsky worked on over thirty years, he turns his unique critical sensibility to Tolstoys life and novels, applying the famous "formalist method" he invented in the 1920s to Tolstoys massive body of work, and at the same time taking Tolstoy (as well as Boccaccio, Pushkin, Chekhov, Dostoevsky, and Tugenev) as a springboard to consider the devices of literaturehow novels work and what they do.

Available in English for the first time, Energy of Delusion provides contemporary readers with a new way of thinking about how great literature is written (and how great criticism might be) that is as timely today as ever.

"Perhaps because he is such an unlikely Tolstoyan, Viktor Shklovskys writing on Tolstoy is always absorbing and often brilliant."Russian Review

"A rambling, digressive stylist, Shklovsky throws of brilliant aperus on every page. . . . Like an architects blueprint, [he] lays bare the joists and studs that hold up the house of fiction."Michael Dirda, Washington Post

"Shklovsky is a disciple worthy of Sterne. He has appropriated the device of infinitely delayed event, of the digression helplessly promising to return to the point, and of disguising his superbly controlled art with a breezy nonchalance. But it is not really Sterne that Shklovsky sounds like: it is an intellectual and witty Hemingway."Guy Davenport, National Review

  

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Review: Energy of Delusion: A Book on Plot

User Review  - Bamcquern - Goodreads

Autobiographical, novelistic, sometimes epigrammatic criticism. Great style. Very different from Theory of Prose, the only early work of criticism I have of his. Read full review

Review: Energy of Delusion: A Book on Plot

User Review  - Goodreads

Autobiographical, novelistic, sometimes epigrammatic criticism. Great style. Very different from Theory of Prose, the only early work of criticism I have of his. Read full review

Contents

Preface
1
Energy of Delusion
36
3
42
The Decameron
70
4
86
5
110
6
152
The Captains Daughter
164
Anna Karenina
229
12
271
13
282
14
291
15
311
16
326
17
337
18
348

8
177
The Path of Tolstoy
205
10
215
19
378
20
399
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Viktor Shklovsky (1893-1984) was a leading figure in the Russian Formalist movement of the 1920s and had a profound effect on twentieth-century Russian literature. Several of his books have been translated into English, including Zoo, or Letters Not about Love, Third Factory, Theory of Prose, A Sentimental Journey, Energy of Delusion, and Literature and Cinematography, and Bowstring.

Shushan Avagyan translates from Armenian and Russian. She is the translator of Viktor Shklovsky's Bowstring: On the Dissimilarity of the Similar, and other works available from Dalkey Archive Press.

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