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Literary Style 1 Wolfgang Huemer

I Dimensions of “ style”

It should come as a surprise that the notion of style is elusive: after all, style is often taken to pertain to the surface (rather than the substance) of a (literary) work of art. The elements of style should, thus, lie open before our eyes and be easy to discern. Moreover, we all seem to have a clear intuitive understanding of style: we know that it is essential to the aesthetic dimension of a work an d makes it accessible for aes thetic appreciation , we are familiar with the idea that it allows us to attribute a work to an author, a genre, a school, or a period , and might even think that it reveals the artistic personality of the author. Yet we find that there is no universally accepted definition of “ style. ” Moreover, the numerous definitions that have been proposed in the past highlight very different aspects that often stand in contrast to one another, which show s that style has many faces, is rich of different dimensions and performs a great variety of functions: i t has been characterized as a “dress of thought” that adorns a pre- existing content; as a choice between alternative expressions; as a set of recurrent, individual or collective characteristics; as signature; as an expression of the author’s personality; as a way of writing dictated by rules or an acquired disposition to act on a set of rules; but also as a systematic violation of rules or deviation from a norm; it is taken to be an expression of originality, to manifest a perspective or point of view, or to foreground the possible uses of a medium and so to draw our attention to the workings of language. Etymologically the word “style” refers to manners of linguistic expression . It is derived from the Latin “ stilus ” that stands for “ a stake or pale, pointed instrument for writi ng, oral or written style” ( The Oxford English Dictionary 1989) , but i ts meaning has broadened considerably. Nowadays the term is used for characteristic features of groups, schools , genres, or periods in the history of art , literature, music, or architecture, etc., for ways of producing works of art or other artifacts, as i n writing style or painting style, for styles of reasoning, ways of performing an action, as in dance style or swimming style, or style of chess playing , f or phenomena related to fashion,

1 I wo uld like to thank Daniel Steuer, Charles Altieri, Marco Santambrogio and Andrea Bianchi for comments on an earlier draft of this paper.

personal outfit and lifestyle, as in hairstyle or dress style, for furniture or design, f o r ways of conducting interpersonal relation s as in leadership style, for specific formats, for manners, procedures, or skilled production processes that are typical for an individual, an institution, or a company, or etc. ; s ometimes it is used without any further qualification – when we say that someone or something has style. This short list shows that s tyle is attributed to entities of very different ontological categories – to persons, schools, periods, ways of doing something, complex patterns of behavior, works of art and other artifacts, or social entities like companies and institutions. i All these entities are in some way or ano ther related to the performance of actions, which allows us to say that the bearers of styl e are ways or manners of performing actions , the person or t he group of persons who perform the actions , or the objects created by them. In the case of literary works of art, the kind of action that counts is not the actual process of writing – i t is typically not relevant whether a poem was written with a pencil, a pen, or a typewriter. It is rather “the nature of the choices or decisions the author apparently ma de about how the work was to be(Walton 1987, 84) that determines the style. T hese choices, if relevant for the style, manifest themselves in the text. In consequence, some philosophers suggest that we ought to focus primarily on the style of writing, while others argue that it is the style of the writing, i.e. the stylistic features of the text, that matters . Despite the etymological origins of the word, most philosophical contributions o n style are not primarily focused on literary style – typically they are more likely to discuss pictorial style. Moreover, the notion of style does not seem to play a central role in the contemporary debate i n the philosophy of literature, which is often more concerned with problems related to the notions of truth and reference of propositions contained in fictional, literary texts, i.e., with problems related to the philosophy of language, metaphysics, or epistemology, rather than with the role of the poetic or aesthetic dimension of language. In the following pages I will focus on aspects that have been – or should be – of particular interest for a philosophical discussion of literary style. I am convinced that the philosophy of literature can only benefit from paying more attention to the stylistic dimension of literature, for this would allow us not only to gain a new perspective on the problems that are widely discussed, but also to pay due attention to aspects that are essential to literature, but are nonetheless often overlooked in the current debate.


II Style as choice

Style has been defined as choice. Where there is more than one way of perform ing a n action or achieving a certain goal, style consists in choosing to do so consistently in a specific manner. These choices are particularly salient when someone opts for doing something in a manner that deviates from the way it is usually done. In the case o f literary style, linguistically oriented approaches often focus on choices that manifest themselves in recurrent patterns of linguistic expressions on a lexical, syntactic, phonological, or morphological level (cf. Havránek 1964, 4) . According to this view, specific linguistic patterns of expression can count as stylistic elements of a work or a body of works when their frequency distributions in the respective works deviate, in a statistically relevant sense, from that in language as a whole, which implies that style can be measured empirically – an assumption that has led to the development of quantitative stylistics. When it comes to the analysis of literary style, however, quantitative methods can easily seem insufficient or reductive, for the style of literary works of art consists in choices not only at the level of the linguistic material , but also in choices that determine “the way of deploying narrative structures, portraying characters, and articulating points of view” (Eco 2005, 163). T his conception of style embraces two aspects that seem to stand in tension to one another: originality and recurrence. A linguistic pattern or feature of a text can be individuated as stylistic element only if it is the result of a deliberate choice to deviate from the ordinary way of expressing or developing a certain point; style consists, in other words, in adopting new or unusual ways of expression that stand out against the standard way of putting it. These ways of expression, however, have to be recurrent features of the text or the body of texts, otherwise we would not be able to identify them as stylistic elements that distinguish the work of a particular author or period . The definition of style as choice presupposes that one and the same goal can, in fact, be achieved in more than one way. In the case of literary works of art this presupposes that the medium, language, does actually offer a choice between different formulations that convey the same literary meaning. A skilled author, so the idea, who sufficiently masters her medium, can deliberately choose one from a number of different, synonymous ways of expressing the point she wants to make – and she will choose the one that best fits her aesthetic conceptions, that best display a specific point of view, or that best expresses her artistic personality. “The point is”, as Arthur Danto has put it, “that the same substance may be variously stylistically embodied, and


synonymous vehicles may have marked stylistic differences(Danto 1981, 198) . Accordingly, it has been argued that “[s]ynonymy, in the widest sense of the term, lies at the root of the whole problem of style” (Ullmann 1957, 6) . This conception rests on the idea, however, that we can separate the content of a literary work of art, what is said, from how it is said and that “ [w]e may reserve the term style for this how, as what remains of a representation when we subtract its content” (Danto 1981, 197) . It, thus, invites a dichotomy between form and content of a work and to the view that style pertains exclusively to the former, a perspective that is explicitly endorsed by Cleanth Brooks and Robert Benn Warren in their characterization of the term style:

This term is usually used with reference to the poet’s manner of choosing, ordering, and arranging his words. But, of course, when one asks on what grounds certain words are chosen and ordered, one is raising the whole problem of form. Style, in its larger sense, is ess entially the same thing as form. (Brooks and Warren 1950, 694)

This conception, as well as the implied distinction between form and content, is not without problems, though. Particularly in the case of literary texts there seems to be a close connection between form and content and it is all but clear that an author could have expressed the same literary meaning with an alternative formulation that, in everyday standards, would pass as synonymous. Style is more than a superficial ornament that could be replaced without altering the essence of the work, it rather contributes to the meaning of a text, literary or not . Hemingway’s preference for short sentences, for example, is more than an arbitrary choice and it is hard to imagine that he could h ave told the same stories in complex and long- winded sentences. This shows that “stylistic features,” as Monroe Beardsley has suggested,

S tylistic features and hence style in general, as consisting of stylistic features, are clearly connected with meaning. Thus, texts that differ in style cannot, in my view, be synonymous; but if there are texts that differ in linguistic form and yet are synonymous, I say that therefore they do not differ in style, for only differences in form which make for differences in meaning can count as stylistic differences (Beardsley 1987, 220) .

According to Beardsley, thus, style does make a genuine contribution to the content of a literary work of art, which implies that a choice between two textual features that does not have an impact on the content of the work, cannot be conceived as style. Moreover, there is a second line of reasoning that suggests that style and content are closely related: choices that regard the content of a text can – and often have – become stylistic elements. We are all familiar with the idea that the style of some literary periods or authors manifests itself not only in choices regarding the linguistic structure or the form of a text, but also in their themes. It can be a question of style, for example, whether an author reports a person’s


sudden transformation into a large, insect- like creature, denounces the bleak living conditions among the British working class, indulges in detailed descriptions of wild nature and untouched landscapes , or depicts the stream of a person’s thoughts and feelings. In short, “some notable features of style are features of the matter rather than the manner of the saying. In more ways than one, subject is involved in style” (Goodman 1975, 799) .

III Style as signature

Style has been defined as signature. Some stylistic features are so typical for a specific period, a movement, or an individual author that they allow for the attribution of the work; “ i n general stylistic properties help answer the questions: who? when? where?” (Goodman 1975, 807) . In consequence, the interest in style is sometimes driven by taxonomic purposes: a detailed description of stylistic elements used by a certain author or in a specific period allows not only to gain a better understanding of the work of the author or the period, respectively, but also to set it apart from works that pertain to other periods or have been written by other authors ( of the same or another period ) . In other disciplines, in particular in literary studies and linguistics, this aspect has resulted in the attempt to compile as complete a list as possible of all textual features that have been used, in a specific period or by a specific author, as stylistic features – or even to compile a comprehensive list of all textual features that can become stylistic features. Most philosophers , on the other hand – who typically are more interested in the nature of style than in providing a taxonomy of literary movements or periods – insist that it is impossible in principle to compile a complete catalogue or give a comprehensive taxonomy of stylemes, i.e. of those features that may become used as elementary stylistic features by any author: every feature of a text can, in principle, become a stylistic feature (cf., for example, Goodman 1975, 807; Robinson 1984, 148; Lang 1987) . The conception of style as signature rests on the idea that in each period some formulations or linguistic variants are more common than in others and that each author uses language in her own particular way. In consequence, works that display these textual features can be recognized as pertaining to a specific period or the oeuvre of a specific author. Other authors, or authors from different periods, may use the same stylistic features when they try to come up with a parody or produce a counterfeit. In pictorial art, forgers often do not deceive by faithfully


reproducing an already existing work of art. They rather produce a new painting in the style of, say, a great master with the intention to make it pass as a hitherto unknown original of the imitated artist, as it was the case with van Meegeren’s fake Vermeers. In literature, where the work in question is not a unique physical object, but an easily reproducible type, forgery is not a topic. Here, the imitation of style is typically used in parody, where the stylistic features are often exaggerated for humorous or satirical ends (for a more detailed discussion of parody and forgery, cf. (Lamarque 2010, 144ff.) . A very literal understanding of the signature conception has led to the view that style is something like a “thumb print ” that allows to identify the author of any kind of text, literary or not, on the basis of her individual way of using language. As a consequence, stylistic analyses of linguistic idiosyncrasies are sometimes employed to attribute texts that have been published anonymously or under a nom de plume to their actual author. Based on a computer- assisted analysis it could be revealed , for example, that the crime novel The Cukoo’s Calling , which was published un der the name of Robert Galbraith, was actually written by J.K. Rowling. The program compared the novel with other texts by Rowling, focusing on four variables: word - length distribution; the uses of common words like “the” and “of”; recurring word pairings and groups of four adjacent characters, words, or part of words (for further details, cf. (Kolowich 2013)). Based on th is analysis it was possible to individuate stylistic markers in the text that distinguish J.K. Rowling’s way of writing. C ombined with other pieces of circumstantial evidence, her authorship could so be confirmed. This example illustrates very well the success of computer- assisted stylometric analyses and their usefulness to forensic linguistics. It does raise the question, however, whether all kinds of particularities in an author’s use of language really qualify as stylistic elements of a given text. I do not want to deny that it is possible to use common words like “the” and “of” (or any of the other criteria used by the program) in a manner that qualifies them as stylistic elements; I do want to suggest, however, that the elevated frequency of the occurrence of these specific phenomena is not sufficient to consider them stylistic elements. There is a fundamental difference between the idiosyncrasies in an author’s use of language and elements that are characteristic for her literary styl e. Like thumbprints, the former are typically arbitrary by- products of sub - personal processes, i.e. processes that are not conscious, but rather concern “mechanic” aspects of the writing process. Moreover, they are likely to be displayed by all texts, literary or not, written by the same person – or else they could not count as the author’s thumbprint in the first place.


Stylistic elements, on the other hand, are typically carefully chosen and contribute to the literary meaning and the aesthetic dimension o f a text; and while it is true that they are not always the result of a conscious choice by the author, it is also true that unlike non - stylistic features, they do “interrelate with the structural or integrative principles of the artist’s work(Wollheim 1987, 198). This suggests that even if it is true that style enables us to attribute works to periods or authors, it is also tru e that not every feature of a text that allows for such an attribution is also a stylistic feature. It takes more to characterize style.

IV Style as expression of the author’s personality

For Wollheim, the conception of style as signature is characteristic for merely taxonomic conception s of style, which he contrasts with a generative conception that understands style as the product of a process and is, in his view, more adequate to capture the phenomenon in question. He pairs this distinction with th e distinction between general and individual style. The former, which subdivides in universal style, historical or period style, and school style, is closely related to the taxonomic conception. Individual style, on the other hand, is of particular interest in the generative conception. Both general and individual style consist in an acquired disposition to act according to a s pecific, rule - governed scheme. Individual style, however, is something that cannot be learned, but is formed by the artist. Forming an individual style does not consist in acquiring or imitating an already existing convention – in this way one could, at best, come to work in a style, but not to have a style – but rather in developing and internalizing specific ways of performing the particular actions that are relevant to the creation of works of art. Wollheim, thus, rejects formalistic approaches that identify style with formal elements of a (static) work. According to his view, individual style has a psychological reality: “the difference that having a style makes is a difference in the mind of a painter” (Wollheim 1995, 41). In a series of articles, Jenefer Robinson has adapted Wollheim’s approach, which was developed in the context of pictorial style, to literary style. She pays much attention to the fact that when reading a literary work of art we often seem to recognize some of the author’s personality traits in the way she writes. Literary style, she suggests , is not merely a formal feature of the work, but rather a


way of doing certain things, such as describing or characterizing a setting, delineating character, treating or presenting a theme, and commenting on the action . Moreover, the writer’s way of describing, delineating, commenting and so on i s typically an expression of (some features of) her personality, character, mind or sensibility . (Robinson 1985, 230)

The humorous and compassionate way in which James describes Strether’s bewilderment, she continues, “expresses the writers own humorous yet compassionate attitude”, very much like “Jane Austen’s ironic way of describing social pretensions expresses her ironic attitude to social pretensions” (Robinson 1985, 230) . When it comes to explain how we can individuate the elemen ts of a text that can count as elements of individual style she argues :

something is an element of individual style only if it is consistently used by a writer in a work in such a way as to express personality and character traits, interests, attitudes, qualities of mind, etc. unique to th e (implied) author of that work . (Robinson 1984, 148)

She avoids a version of what Gombrich has called the “ physiognomic fallacy” (Gombrich 1998, 160) , i.e. the (false) assumption that there is a necessary connection between an author’s personality and her way of writing, by conceding that the personality that emerges from the individual style of a work is not that of the actual, but that of the implied author, i.e., “the author as she seems to be from the evidence of the work” (Robinson 1985, 234) . I do have the impression, however, that due to its stro ng psycholo gistic tendencies, her approach risks to invite a confusion of these two levels: if style i s a “way of doing things” it seems natural to identify the personality that emerges from the text’s elements of individual style with the person who did the actual writing, i.e., the actual , not the implied, author. If, on the other hand, an author can make emerge a personality different from her own because she “ more or less consciously ‘puts on ’ or ‘adopts ’ a persona to tell ‘her’ story(Robinson 1985, 235) , then her doing so is the result of a (more or less conscious) choice. This entails, however, that the very personality of the implied author is a stylistic feature of the text, and can not, thus, be an explanation of style. Moreover, on Robinson’s account this result would lead to an unwanted iteration ; the text’s individual style would count as an expression of the impli ed author’s personality which, in turn, would have to be conceived as an expression of the actual author’s personality. Robinson’s conception of style moves the discussion from an aesthetic to a psychological level. This move is not unproblematic, however . Even if we grant that stylistic elements allow us to get in touch with the (implied) author’s personality, it is not at all clear to me why this encounter should have any relevance from an aesthetic point of view, nor why the reader should care about an encounter of this kind in the first place. Style, it seems to me, is not merely an arbitrary feature


of literary works of art, it is rather a decisive element when it comes to characterize the nature of literature. The emergence of an (implied) author’s personality traits, on the other hand, seems quite secondary in many works. Moreover, we seem to relate to stylistic features of a text in a way that is quite different from the way in which we relate to someone’s personality or character. In the latter case we take a stance that is characterized along the dimensions of empathy, affinity, rapport, respect, aversion, antipathy, or similar. When paying attention to the stylistic elements of

a text, on the other hand, we typically do so in the spirit of aesthetic appreciation. For this reason

o ne can easily find oneself intrigued by the style of a specific work, even though one feels aversion for or does not care at all about the personality of the author, implied or actual, which suggests that interest in style and interest in the author’s personality are two quite distinct phenomena. A less psychologistic perspective on the relation between style and personality was proposed by Arthur Danto, who argues that style is an expression of an artistic personality that emerges from the complete body of her work. A work of art not only represents a specific content,

it also displays , according to Danto, the way in which the artists sees the world. In Rembrandt’s

portrait of Hendrij ke, he suggests, “we do not simply see that naked woman sitting on a rock, as voyeurs stealing a glimpse through an aperture. We see her as she is seen with love by virtue of a representation magically embedded in the work(Danto 1981, 207) . Th e painting not only represents Hendrijke, it does so in a way that enables the spectator to see how Rembrandt saw her – which does not, of course, entail that the spectator has to see her in the same way. Since according to Danto we are “systems of representations, ways of seeing the world” (Danto 1981, 204) , recognizing the way in which an artist sees the world means getting in touch with her personality: “learning to recognize a style is not a simple taxonomic exercise. Learning to recognize a style is like learning to recognize a person’s touch or his character” (Danto 1981, 207) . Danto’s conception leads to an unexpected consequence, however: i f style is to be equated with “those qualities … that are the man himself” (Danto 1981, 207) , one and the same artist cannot possibly produce two works in different styles. There are, of course, cases where an artist appears to have changed style from one period to another. These cases, however, rest on an erroneous identification of stylistic features in at least one of the two periods. T he question of which feature of a work of art counts as a stylistic feature cannot be determined by studying a single work in isolation, one rather needs to take the artist’s entire oeuvre into consideration. According to Dan to, “style is a history, and a narrative of that history is a kind of artistic biography in which we trace not so much the emergence but the increasing perspicuity with which the style


becomes visible in the work(Danto 1991, 208) . In consequence, if we approach the work of an artist from a historical perspective, we can discern stylistic features in the early work that otherwise would have been occluded “by surrounding noises in the artworld” (Danto 1991, 208) . Danto, in short, does not suggest that single stylistic features express aspects of the artist’s personality, but rather that a perspective that takes into account the artist’s (artistic) biography enables us to recognize the style of his work.

V Style distinguishes

The conceptions we have discussed so far give different answers to the question of where to locate style: some identify it with features of a given text, while others suggest that it depends on the actions performed by the author in the process of writing. In consequence, the respecti ve theories highlight either the taxonomic function of style or the psychological dimension . Both aim at establishing objective criteria for attributing style to a work or a way of writing, respectively, which suggests that they use the notion of style primarily in its descriptive sense. It is important to note, however, that very much like the notion of literature, also the notion of style can be used both in a descriptive and in an honorific sense. To say of a work that it has style means to recognize that there is an aesthetic quality to it; similarly, to say that a writer has style suggests that sh e has found a form of expression that distinguishes her and makes her stand out. When attributing style, thus, we do more than just describing an objective feature of a work or of a way o f writing: we formulate an evaluative judgment that individuates a di stinguishing feature. This very fact suggests that style plays an essential role for the aesthetic dimension of a text; it is constitutive for what linguists of the Prague school have called the poetic function of language. ii Some acts of verbal communicati on, they suggest, not only describe a situation, express an emotion , or engage the addressee directly, but also (or even dominantly) direct the attention towards the medium of expression. The poetic function “renders the structure of the linguistic sign the center of attention, whereas [other functions of language] are oriented toward extralinguistic instances and goals exceeding the linguistic sign” (Mukařovský 1977, 68) . Bringing aesthetics back into our reflections on style can also throw ligh t on the latter’s main function, i.e., to invite to a shift of attention from what is said in a text and how it is said to what is thereby shown. The aesthetically relevant aspects of a work of art draw attention to the


medium of the work; i n the case of literature they foreground language. This does not mean , however, that the aesthetic dimension of a text foregrounds merely the selection and arrangement of the linguistic material : aesthetically relevant aspects of a literary work of art can unfold along many different dimensions, there are no natural boundaries to an author’s creativity. Any choice an author makes in the manipulation of the medium that results in an objective and recognizable feature of the text can become aesthetically relevant, no matter whether it consists in choices regarding the syntactic level, in adopting a specific narrative perspective, in the kinds of person that are described or in the way this is done, in the choice of the topic, the expression of a certain feeling, the way the plot unfolds, the length of the text, or even in the use of non - linguistic elements. An y feature of a text, I want to suggest, that can be discerned as the result of an aesthetically relevant choice by the author is a stylistic feature. There i s no simple or mechanic way of distinguishing these features from mere idiosyncrasies in the author’s use of language or other arbitrary by- products of the writing- process. S ince the stylistic features of a text contribute to the literary meaning of the work, they can be individuated only relative to an interpretation of the work. The thesis that style foregrounds the possible uses of the medium – and literary style, thus, foregrounds the possible uses of language – must not be understood in a reductive manner, however, as drawing our attention to some formal system of symbols. Language is not merely a means of communication, it also plays an essential role in the mental life of all adult human beings. The structure of most of our mental episodes is determined by language – which becomes evident by the fact that the content of all propositional attitudes, i.e., all our knowledge, beliefs, desires, etc., has propositional structure. Moreover, language plays a central role in our conceptions of ourselves and of our social and physical environment. The way language is used, thus, displays and at the same time forms the way we conceive the world around us. By foregrounding specific of all possible uses of language, literary style can direct our attention to any aspect of our mental life that involves language. It can so display the limits of entrenched ways of conceiving a specific aspect of our lifeworld or present alternative ways of conceiving them. iii Moreover, the very fact that style has been taken as expression of individuality brings to the fore an interesting aspect about the human condition. If our conceptions of ourselves and our social and physical environments depend essentially on language, i.e., on a system that is governed by social rules, having such conceptions presupposes that one conform s to the rules that


constitute language. At the same time it is true that we use language to express our individual

points of view. Charles Altieri has pointed at this tension, recalling a line of Wittgenstein’s thought:

Wittgenstein thus walks a very narrow line. He wants to call our attention to how the agent can be absorbed within the conditions of thinking that may derive either from traditional practices or from a particular way of engaging in a situation while also allowing room for our seeing the subject as defining certain aspe cts of herself in this process. (Altieri 1989, 69)

This probably explains why style has been defined both as an acquired disposition to act on a set

of rules and as a systematic violation of rules. Many aspects of our adult life – especially the

philosophical relevant one’s – are situated in the tension between affirming one’s own

individuality and being part of a larger form of life, i.e., a community that is constituted by social

rules. The stylistic dimension of literary works of art can also be seen – among all the other

functions it performs – as an expressi on of this existential condition .

This suggests that a reflection of literary style can offer stimulating and fruitful impulses for

our philosophical conception of literature. It can not only shed a new light on questions that now

stand at the center of di scussion , such as the question for the cognitive value of literature, the

paradox of fiction, the role of emotions in fictional, literary texts; most importantly, it allows to

bring back to the center of attention the aesthetic dimension of literature and thus to come back

to the very phenomenon that should interest philosophers of literature: literary works of art.


Altieri, Charles. 1989. “Style as the Man: From Aesthetic to Speculative Philosophy.” In Analytic Aesthetics , edited by Richard Shusterman, 59– 84. Oxford: Blackwell. Beardsley, Monroe. 1987. “Verbal Style and Illocutionary Action.” In The Concept of Style, edited by Berel Lang, rev. edition, 205– 29. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press. Brooks, Cleanth, and Robert Penn Warren. 1950. Understanding Poetry. New York: Holt. Danto, Arthur C. 1981. The Transfiguration of the Commonplace: a Philosophy of Art. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ——— . 1991. “Narrative and Style.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 49 (3): 201 9.


Eco, Umberto. 2005. “On Style.” In On Literature, 161 – 79. Orlando: Harcourt. Gombrich, Ernst. 1998. “Style.” In The Art of Art History: a Critical Anthology, edited by Donald Prezio si, 150 63. Oxford/ New York: Oxford University Press. Goodman, Nelson. 1975. “The Status of Style.” Critical Inquiry 1 (4): 799 811.


Havránek, Bohuslav. 1964. “The Functional Differentiation of the Standard Language.” In A Prague Schoo l Reader on Esthetics, Literary Structure, and Style, edited by Paul Garvin, 3– 16. Washington: Georgetown University Press.


Huemer, Wolfgang. 2007. “Why Read Literature? The Cognitive Function of Form.” In A Sense of the World: Essays on Fiction, Narrative, and Knowledge, edited by John Gibson, Wolfgang Huemer, and Luca Pocci, 233– 45. New York/ London: Routledge. Jakobson, Roman. 1960. “Linguistics and Poetics.” In Style in Language, edited by Thomas A. Sebeok, 350 – 77. Cambridge, Mass: M.I.T. Press. Kolowich , Steve. 2013. “The Professor Who Declared, It’s J.K. Rowling.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 29. Lamarque, Peter. 2010. Work and Object: Explorations in the Metaphysics of Art. Oxford/ New York: Oxford University Press. Lang, Berel. 1987. “Looking for the Styleme.” In The Concept of Style, edited by Berel Lang, rev. ed ition , 174 – 82. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press. Mukařovský, Jan. 1977. “Two Studies of Poetic Designation.” In The Word and Verbal Art: Selected Essays, translated by Peter Steiner and John Burbank, 65– 80. New Haven: Yale University Press. Robinson, Jenefer M. 1984. “General and Individual Style in Literature.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 43 (2): 147 58. doi:10.2307/429989. ——— . 198 5. “Style and Personality in the Literary Work.” The Philosophical Review 94 (2): 227 47. doi:10.2307/2185429. The Oxford English Dictionary. 1989. 2nd ed. Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press ; Oxford University Press. Ullmann, Stephen. 1957. Style in the French Novel . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Walton, Kendall. 1987. “Style and the Products and Processes of Art.” In The Concept of Style, edited by Berel Lang, rev. edition, 72– 103. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press. Wollheim, Richard. 1987. “Pictorial Style: Two Views.” In The Concept of Style, edited by Berel Lang, rev. edition, 183– 202. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press. ——— . 1995. “Style in Painting.” In The Question of Style in Philosophy and the Arts, edited by Caroline van Eck, James McAllister, and Renée van de Vall, 37– 49. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Suggested further readings:

Altieri, Charles. “Style as the Man: From Aesthetic to Speculative Philosophy.” In Analytic Aesthetics , edited by Richard Shusterman, 59– 84. O xford : Blackwell, 1989. Garvin, Paul L. 1964. A Prague School Reader on Esthetics, Literary Structure, and Style. Washingt on: Georgetown University Press. Leech, Geoffrey N. 2007. Style in Fiction: a Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose. 2nd ed. New York: Pearson Longman. Robinson, Jenefer M. “Style and Personality in the Literary Work.” The Philosophical Review 94, no. 2 (April 1, 1985): 227 247.

i Nelson Goodman has argued that also natural objects, when functioning as symbols, can have style – he speaks of a sunrise in Mandalay style – a sunrise “expressing the suddenness of thunder” (Goodman 1975, 808) . For a critique of this view, cf. (Walton 1987, 73f) , who insists that style can be attributed only to artifacts or actions, but not to natural objects.

ii For the distinction between poetic and other functions of language, cf., for example, (Jakobson 1960) or (Mukařovský 1977) .


iii For an ap plication of this argument to the role of literary form for the cognitive value of a work cf. (Huemer 2007) .