More Victor Shklovsky, this time from Literature and Cinematography (Dalkey Archive):
In general, this is what usually happens. Having outlived the old forms, "high" art finds itself at a dead end. Everyone starts writing well, but no one is interested.
Art forms become petrified and cease to be palpable. I think that in such a period not only does the reader not know whether he ever read a certain poem or not, but the writer also cannot remember whether he ever wrote it.
By then the elements of the non-canonized art have already succeeded in developing new artistic devices. The pressure of the artistic atmosphere drops and the seepage of these elements begins.
"Non-canonized art"-- how prosaic, Victor.
This perfectly gibes with my own feelings about "genre" and "popular" fiction, at least as it stands in relation to "Literary" fiction today. I posted over at HTMLGiant on one of those non-canonized artists, Ross Macdonald (not exactly a contemporary, I know) and what I felt was his "new" artistic device here.