I wanted to front-page Barrett's comment from yesterday's post on The Mezzanine since it's absolutely brilliant and far better than anything I cn say about this book:
I'll raise your "seems to anticipate DFW" one and say that Baker is actually the missing aesthetic link between Updike and DFW. The manic see-through vision applied to everyday objects is the direct result of Updike's lavish attention to surfaces, and Baker asserts in U&I–a great, wonderfully creepy book–that he wants to take Updikean plot and explore its internal crevices. He wants to pause plot. In each of his . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Given the recent conversation about plot and the novel, I thought it was worthwhile to refresh Viktor Shklovsky's thoughts on defamiliarization. This is as quoted in Structuralism in Literature:
Habitualization devours objects, clothes, furniture, one's wife and the fear of war. "If all the complex lives of many go on unconsciously, then such lives are as if they had never been."
Art exists to help us recover the sensation of life; it exists to make us feel things, to make the stone stony. The end of art is to give a sensation of the object . . . continue reading, and add your comments