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European Formalism and Empiriocriticism : Formalism within the International Empiriocritical Movement

Abstract : This paper argues that Russian Formalism is to be considered a constitutive part of the international empiriocritical movement—Ernst Mach (1838—1916) and Richard Avenarius’s (1843—1896). The conceptual parallelism between Empiriocriticism and Formalism is striking indeed. Thus, the cornerstones of the empiriocritical approach—the concept of series [Reihe] and the concept of elements [Elemente], understood as sensations [Empfindungen]—are plainly recognizable within formalist theories: the notion of ‘series’ (for example, the notion of ‘literary series’ or ‘poetic series’, leading to the famous concept of ‘literariness’, literaturnost’) and the very formalist idea of a necessarily perceptible character of aesthetic form are only two, most famous, examples of this astonishing affinity. Here are some of the most striking convergences between Empiriocriticism and Formalism: the relativity of any knowledge; continuity between knowledge and perception; the pragmatic dominant; the leitmotif of ‘the Unsalvageable Ego’. Besides, the paper seeks to situate Russian Formalism within European Aesthetic German-speaking Formalism. This kind of formalism formulates some basic oppositions correlated to different types of forming being associated with specific means and specific formal devices to affect them. In this context, particular morphological features result in producing particular feelings conceived in the spatial or syntactic perspective. From its German-speaking analogue, Russian Formalism has inherited this relational and spatial definition of feelings and, largely speaking, of emotionality within art. Indeed, both formalisms treat emotion as a ‘non-subjective’, ‘kinetic’, ‘syntactic’ phenomenon located on the surface of aesthetic objects.
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Soumis le : vendredi 18 juin 2021 - 19:06:16
Dernière modification le : mercredi 21 septembre 2022 - 09:44:42

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Serge Tchougounnikov. European Formalism and Empiriocriticism : Formalism within the International Empiriocritical Movement. Linguistic Frontiers, 2020, 3 (1), pp.39-47. ⟨10.2478/lf-2020-0004⟩. ⟨hal-03265020⟩



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