Turning into Sterne
Viktor Shklovskii and Literary Reception

Emily Finer

Studies In Comparative Literature 18

Legenda

23 April 2010  •  172pp

ISBN: 978-1-906540-55-5 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

EnglishRussianFiction


Viktor Shklovskii (1893-1984) is best known as an inventor of Russian Formalism, the literary theorist responsible for ostranenie, defamiliarisation. Just after the 1917 Revolution, Shklovskii claimed Tristram Shandy to be 'the most typical novel in world literature'; he then proceeded to theorise Sterne's formal experiments with plot; to chronicle his own wartime exploits in an autobiographical 'Sentimental Journey'; and to promote Tristram Shandy as a prototype for the new Soviet novel. His reading of Tristram Shandy and his lifelong relationship with its author, Laurence Sterne (1713-1769), were of enormous importance to Shklovskii, whose theory of prose remains current in Western academia. As Finer shows, they can tell us much not only about Shklovskii but also the extended, tangled ways of literary reception, and translation.

Emily Finer teaches Russian literature at the University of St Andrews.

Reviews:

  • ‘In [Finer's] own inventive readings, the impact of Sterne and English eighteenth-century narrative experiments is dominant in Shklovskii’s journalism and fiction of the mid 1920s. The overt play with convention evident in his non- fiction, as in his novels, exemplifies in a double sense the khod konia — both the knight’s move of artistic indirection and the hobby horse of Shandean digressions.’ — Dale E. Peterson, Slavonic and East European Review 89.4, October 2011, 720-21 (full text online)
  • ‘Emily Finer’s first monograph represents a significant advance on any other coverage of Viktor Shklovskii (1893–1984) and his work in literature to date... An outstanding study for those interested in early twentieth-century Soviet culture, comparative literature and literary reception, close readings of English literature in Russian translation, and the publication and dissemination of English literature in Russia and the Soviet Union.’ — Rosemari Baker, Slavonica 17.1, April 2011, 54-55

Bibliography entry:

Finer, Emily, Turning into Sterne: Viktor Shklovskii and Literary Reception, Studies In Comparative Literature, 18 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2010)

First footnote reference: 35 Emily Finer, Turning into Sterne: Viktor Shklovskii and Literary Reception, Studies In Comparative Literature, 18 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2010), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Finer, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Finer, Emily. 2010. Turning into Sterne: Viktor Shklovskii and Literary Reception, Studies In Comparative Literature, 18 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Finer 2010: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Finer 2010: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


This Legenda title was first published by Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing but rights to it are now held by Modern Humanities Research Association and Routledge.

Routledge distributes this title on behalf on Legenda. You can search for it at their site by following this link.


Permanent link to this title: