I picked up James Ressegui’s introduction to narrative criticism in the NT and found this quote about the purpose and power of art—

Habitualization devours works, clothes, furniture, one’s wife, and the fear of war….  Art exists that one may recover a sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony” [1].

Creative artistry can subtly guide or suddenly jolt us into recognizing the splendor in the mundane.  “Normal” may not actually be dull.  Maybe we are just dulled, dulled in the capacity to discern the extraordinary in the ordinary….

[1] Victor Shklovsky, “Art as Technique,” in Russian Formalist Criticism: Four Essays, trans. Lee T Lemon and Marion J. Reis (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965), 3-24; cited p. 33, n. 43 in James L. Resseguie, Narrative Criticism of the New Testament: An Introduction (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2005).

One thought on “A Russian formalist on what art does for us…”

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