Everyday Astonishment

“[W]e can define ostranenie as a cognitive-emotional state, the renewed awareness produced when the habitual is depicted in an unusual way. What is habitual differs from reader to reader, from spectator to spectator. The intended effect can fail to manifest itself; conversely, one can experience ostranenie where it was not intended: say, reading a description of one’s country written by an astonished foreigner. There are a great many ways of making things strange — for instance, adopting the perspectives of aliens and animals; naming directly what is usually couched in euphemisms; or describing in minute detail what is usually summed up in a single word.”
 — I really enjoyed this essay about Viktor Shklovsky and his idea of ostranenie, and I am someone who cannot hear the phrase “literary theory” without making the “jerking off” motion so violently that I do damage to my rotator cuff. If you feel strong enough today to make it through something that addresses formalism, “schema-focused therapy” and a bunch of other concepts that require a strong gag reflex, you might want to give it a shot. THIS IS ME RECOMMENDING THIS PIECE BTW.