We get used to horrible things and stop fearing them. We get used to beautiful things and stop enjoying them. We get used to people and stop experiencing them as personalities. Art is a means to make things real again. These ideas, expressed by a very young and polemically minded Viktor Shklovsky almost a hundred years ago, are as relevant today as ever: current studies in cognition confirm his insights about the process of automatization and its opposite. While the Romantics only sought to actualize the beauty of the world, Shklovsky sees art also as a way to make its horrors felt.

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