What is "foregrounding," which is a major stylistic device amongst creative writers?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Foregrounding is a literary concept borrowed from Russian Formalism and developed by formalist Jan Mukařovský who called it aktualisace, which has been translated to English as foregrounding. Foregrounding is a technique within literary devices whereby the author creates "defamiliarization" through linguistic (i.e., pertaining to language) "dislocation" that calls readers' attention the strangeness of the world or the perception of the world portrayed or depicted in the literary work.

In explanation, Mukařovský posited that literature is a process of "strange making" whereby the world or a perspective is presented in a manner that separates it from real life experience through literary devices that manipulate variables to set literary experience apart from real experience, thus making it strange, as in unfamiliar. This stands in stark contrast to classical theory stating literature reflects real life experience of the world and how it operates.

The purpose of foregrounding is to sharpen readers' vision and understanding of the event, feelings, circumstance, concept, etc. that the author wants to point out in the hope of giving readers new clarity, epiphany or motivation etc. The favored techniques for creating foregrounding are patterns, such as repetitions; ambiguity, in which meaning is clear but conclusions may be variable; metaphor; tone; parallelism; and diction. Structural elements may also be foregrounded, such as character development and plot structure. Any of these devices may be used to defamiliarize the literary work through linguistic dislocation (i.e., atypical language usage) so that the reader is struck by the author's points and aims while submerged in a "strange" perspective of life and the world.

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kazmig | College Teacher | (Level 3) eNoter

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kazmig

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The term foregrounding has been borrowed from painting discourse.Victor Skluvskij a russain formalist was the first          man  who  assiciated foregrounding with literature.

M.A.K. Holiday says foregrounding is " A mean of highlighting      the message".

Foregrounding is the mother of literature, without foregrounding literature is not possible.It marks a line of distinguishing between ordinary text and literature.Foregrounding is charm, attraction, beauty and mean of strengthining the literature.Foregrounding is achieved by two methods " Deviation" and " Parallelism".Deviation is turning aside from a said norm or grammatical rule while parallelism is repetation of sound, structure, word or idea. e.g

What a man, Is he a man.( G.B. Shawe)( Parallelism)

Ten thousands saw I at a glance.( Wordsworth)( Deviation)

I kissed thee ear I killed thee, where .( Shakespeare)( Parallelism )

Foregrounding is to bring some thing into light and to make work of art eye chatching,  forcefull and presentable. In short it is the backbone of literature.

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kazmig | College Teacher | (Level 3) eNoter

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Ther foregrounding has been borrowed from painting discourse.Victor Skluvskij a russain formalist has assiciated iforegrounding with literature.M.A.K. Holiday says foregrounding is " A mean of highlighting the messege".Foregrounding is the mother of literatur, without foregrounding literature is not possible.It marks a line of distinguishing between ordinary text and literature.Foregrounding is charm attraction beauty and mean of strengthining the literature.Foregrounding is achieved by two ways " Deviation" and " Parallelism".Deviation is turning aside from a said norm or grammatical rule while parallelism is repetation of sound, structure, word or idea.

What a man, Is he a man.( G.B. Shawe)( Parallelism)

Ten thousands was I at a glance.( Wordsworth)( Deviation)

I kissed thee ear I killed thee, where .( Shakespeare)( Parallelism )

Foregrounding is to bring some thing into light and to make work of art eye chatching,  forcefull and presentable. In short it is the backbone of literature.

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