Thursday, November 6, 2008

On Form

Arum Lilies, Nov 08, JB
Formalism as a freedom from “the traditional idea of form as an envelope, a vessel into which one pours a liquid (the content).” There is a need, therefore, to show that “the perception of form results from special artistic techniques which force the reader [viewer] to experience form.”
Boris Eichenbaum, (1927). The Theory of the “Formal Method”.


billoo said...

Jacky, I know this is bad form but do we always have to think of freedom in terms of freedom *from*? I mean, isn't the desire to shatter the old forms precisely what the modern 'form' is? ..the "shock of the new"?

"force" the reader?!!

jacky bowring said...

Hi Billo... well, provocations are necessary! I have a soft spot for the Russian Formalists, for their challenge to what is presumed a default setting for many. Through that very thing of 'strangemaking', which 'freedom' is a case of... to see something familiar as odd ... in suggesting a freedom from something which might be considered not optional. Thus a certain 'shock' in itself. Which includes things such as 'forcing' the reader, emphasising the absoluteness of the inertia which prevents engagement with what one is reading, what one is seeing...that which precludes feeling ...