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Third Factory [Paperback]

Viktor Shklovsky
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 2002 Russian Literature Series

Like many of Shklovsky's works, Third Factory is not easily classified. In part it is a memoir of the three "Factories" that influenced his development as a human being and as a writer, yet the events depicted within the book are fictionalised and conveyed with the poetic verve and playfulness of form that have made Shklovsky a major figure in twentieth-century world literature. In addition to its fictional and biographical elements, Third Factory includes anecdotes, rants, social satire, literary theory, and anything else that Shklovsky, with an artist's unerring confidence, chooses to include.


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From Booklist

"Plot-oriented prose still exists and will continue to exist," posits Shklovsky, writing in 1926, "but it has been consigned to the attic." In its place, we have this work: part fiction, part memoir, and part critical theory. (It was previously published in 1977 in a limited edition.) The author employs a factory metaphor to appease his Marxist critics but remains aesthetically in sync with earlier formalist thought, focusing not on plot, characters, or the state, but on plot-oriented prose itself and its inability to capture the dilemmas of the modern artist. His three "factories" are the social institutions that have processed him as an artist and a person: childhood in gray St. Petersburg; Opoyaz, the creative-freedom consortium he helped found in his idealistic youth (otherwise known as the Russian formalist movement); and most significantly, the present constraints placed on his work by Bolshevik ideology. A must for serious lit-crit fans, this work is also annotated enough to make it enjoyable for anyone interested in the intellectual side of the Russian Revolution. Brendan Driscoll
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"A work of gossip, allusion and esoteric reference, with devices -- some typographical -- which Shklovsky borrowed from Sterne, whom he much admired." -- John Bayley, Listener


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Part memoir, part political allegory Jan. 4 2003
Format:Paperback
Written by Viktor Shklovsky, a leading figure in the Russian Formalist movement in the 1920s, Third Factory is an engaging literary narrative translated from Russian into English by Richard Sheldon. Part memoir, part political allegory, part personal anecdote and part novel, Third Factory is replete with thought-provoking conundrums arising from a complex and imperfect world, as summarized in the three "factories" of life, which form the core of this engaging and erudite work. Enhanced with an Afterword by Lyn Hejinian and an informative introduction by Richard Sheldon, Third Factory is an especially recommended reading for students of 20th Century Russian Literature.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
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5.0 out of 5 stars Part memoir, part political allegory Jan. 4 2003
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Written by Viktor Shklovsky, a leading figure in the Russian Formalist movement in the 1920s, Third Factory is an engaging literary narrative translated from Russian into English by Richard Sheldon. Part memoir, part political allegory, part personal anecdote and part novel, Third Factory is replete with thought-provoking conundrums arising from a complex and imperfect world, as summarized in the three "factories" of life, which form the core of this engaging and erudite work. Enhanced with an Afterword by Lyn Hejinian and an informative introduction by Richard Sheldon, Third Factory is an especially recommended reading for students of 20th Century Russian Literature.
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