Energy of Delusion: A Book on Plot
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
What people are saying - Write a review
Energy of Delusion: A Book on PlotUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Just in time for the publication of two new translations of War and Peace comes the first publication in English of what is arguably the greatest critical work on Tostoy's masterpiece. Soviet critic ... Read full review
Energy of Delusion
The Captains Daughter
The Path of Tolstoy