Interior design, bomb squads, ostranenie

Part of Viktor Shklovskij's brilliance was that he not only described the creeping disjunctive unsettle-and-laugh anti-sublime (not that it lacks qualities of it, but it functions in reverse, the sneaking up behind you dethroning of the understanding) of defamiliarization (ostranenie). It's also how he can pull it off in his own prose, like a stand-up comedian whose punchline (at least in A Sentimental Journey, his memoirs from 1917 to 1922) is often the brutality of banal moments in the midst of slaughter.

A favorite from A Sentimental Journey (although less corpse-oriented than much of this memoir):

My wife asked every day, "Aren't you going to blow yourself up one of these days?"
I was still wearing that green suit made out of somebody's drapes.

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