This chapter reviews the major contributions made to the theory of foregrounding, from its roots in Russian Formalism, its elaboration in structuralism, to its further development in stylistics. The views of the Formalists are not without problems, though. One concerns their use of terminology. Firstly their technical terms are often near to being synonymous, for instance: perceptibility and palpability, defamiliarization and de-automatization, making strange and deformation. For the systematic compilation of Formalist terminology and the context of their theoretical development. The term 'foregrounding' itself was introduced into the study of literature in the West by Garvin, as a translation of the Czech 'aktualisace', employed in the works of several Prague scholars. Roman Jakobson stressed yet another aspect subsumed under the general concept of foregrounding, i.e. that of parallelism. General theories of literature should preferably also be applicable to literary works that are not part of the Western middle- and upper-class canon of 'valuable' works.