In our second workshop we would like to differentiate between formalist theory on the one hand and the artists of the Russian avant-garde on the other. To this end we chose to focus on the fate of formalist theory during the Stalinist 1930s when it became nearly impossible to draw the line between Formalism and avant-garde art

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topics: Conference

Photographs by Andrew Fisher

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As scholars and as writers, the founding fathers of Russian Formalism were not afraid to err in the conventional sense, but what definitely was amongst their fears were epigonism and imitation as an academic and literary secondary activity. However, the repetition or automation of some characteristic features was obvious in the texts of Shklovsky and in the early prose of Tynianov during the 1920s.


The article attempts to interpret Viktor Shklovsky's essay, “Monument to a Scientific Error,” in light of a reading of its central subtext, Jules Romains’s cine-novel, Donogoo-Tonka, or the Miracles of Science.


Compilation of source material for the close reading.

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The ideas I wish to present in my talk were inspired by Viktor Shklovsky's “Monument to a Scientific Error“ (1930). I intend to look at the Methodology of the Error as being one discrete method to speculate on poetic chance


The present paper is devoted to Viktor Shklovsky’s ironic reflection on his well-known penitential article “Monument to a Scientific Error”(1930), in which he ritually renounced his basic Formalist ideas.


Shklovsky begins his seminal text, "Art as Device", with critiques of diverse formulations of the ‘laws’ of economy governing creative effort and perception in poetic and prose language.