Elod P Csirmaz

A Note on Innerism


The present text serves as a summary of various ideas and concepts related to a framework which will be referred to in this note—for the sake of brevity—as innerism, and its purpose is to make it easier to search for theories and sources that can be related to it, thus making it possible to develop this system further. All statements in this paper, especially those in sections 1 and 10 about the present state of literary criticism, were established based on my limited knowledge and experience, and thus, their validity may prove questionable at many points.

1           Readings as Artworks

According to my experience, the question critical writings nowadays try to answer about literary works can be generally rephrased as ‘what this text means.’[1] Such critical writings, or readings attempt to prove the validity of an alleged meaning, message, or ‘final signified’ based on selected quotes, rephrased sections or biographic details from the life of the author. As Mark Turner[2] argues, the stranger, the more unexpected a newly written reading is, the more highly it will be regarded in scholarly circles. Actually, a new critical essay about, for example, Shakespeare, must be unexpected in order to be worthwhile of interest at all.

As Turner’s argument shows, such critical writings are valued dubiously. A reason for this may originate in the observation that the making of such readings is very similar to artistic activities.

I had the chance to hear a small detail of an interpretation[3] of Shakespeare’s Othello. According to this detail, which I happened to hear from multiple sources, the author of the interpretation associates the initial letter of the name of the protagonist, the uppercase O, to the union of Othello with Desdemona, while, according to his/her idea, the terminal, lowercase o symbolizes the break of this union (Othello remaining alone). This idea would be perfect as a basis for the subtle symbolism of a possible performance of Othello. But as an explanation of the text, it naturally fails, as this idea is most probably not coded into Shakespeare’s script. Although I am not familiar with the supports for this claim, let me pose some questions about the presence and validity of this alleged symbol: why is Othello, remaining alone, or the break of the union similar to the original union? A small o is just as perfect, closed and self-contained as the big one. If Shakespeare really tried to use the name as a symbol, why did not he alter the name so that it would end in, for example, c?

Although my minor objections might not stand in the light of the actual argumentation, with which, let me emphasize again, I am not familiar, this example clearly shows the artistic nature of the creation of readings. The author of this interpretation seems not to have analyzed the text—rather, s/he put it on stage.

If the reading is a result of creative thinking, then, naturally, the writer of the reading largely contributes to it. In other words, it is not the original text that s/he analyses or describes, but focuses consciously on his/her own interpretation—and,  it can be added, on that interpretation only. Indeed, according to today’s fashion, the subjectivity of a reading should even be emphasized and made clear—the critic should avoid claiming his/her interpretation to be objective and universal.

In my view, it is at this point that literary criticism ceases to be taken seriously in the eyes of scholars of other fields. If a critical writing, an interpretation denies its (at least partial) objectivity, then its judgments cannot be tested against the original text and its claims become unarguable. Rather, it uses the “this is my reading” argument  to defend otherwise indefensible claims.

Another problem is that it seems that students who only study critical approaches which try to support the alleged message of an artwork directly from the text will develop rigid interpretative strategies.[4] (Naturally, this phenomenon might have many causes, for example, that students are rarely asked to respond to a text using well-formed, sophisticated language.)


If we uphold the idea that no training is necessary for reading, that is, one can read, enjoy, and interpret (at least to a certain extent, and at least contemporary) texts without an excessive amount of pre-knowledge usually unavailable to the general public, then it sounds strange that the task of the scholar should be to create more and more readings, which is already happening (non-verbally) in each reader’s mind.

2           The Intermediate Layer

In this work, I attempt to make the suggestion that the many problems outlined in the previous section are results of the original question interpretations/readings generally try to answer: namely, what this text means. According to our postulate above, that anybody can read, the meaning(s) of a text is clear and accessible to everyone (usually non-verbally, and, again, to a certain extent), and, therefore, need not, what is more, cannot be expressed by subjective readings.

If the meaning of a work, that is, its whole range of potential ‘messages’ could be accounted for by a reading, then the reading would take the place of the artwork—that is, the experience (to be defined later on) of the artist would be fully related in a text having no artistic qualities. And then it seems that the work was a waste of time to write in the first place.

Thus, the what this text means question is the wrong question, as it cannot be answered. But the question how this text means what it means seems to be more promising: it takes for granted that the text, by being read, can successfully build up some structures in the reader’s mind which are not necessarily verbalizable in their entirety—and focuses on what can be held accountable in the text for creating these structures.


In order to be able to answer this new question, I will postulate the existence of a layer (let it be layer II) between the text (layer I) and its interpretation (layer III). According to the model to be proposed, layer II consists of the structures that are generated by the text in the reader’s mind during the act of reading. The reader, in turn, decides which parts of these structures are more important, in other words, interprets this heap of structures, and may, ultimately, abstract this interpretation into a single phrase or sentence, the ‘message’; or into an essay, the ‘reading’; giving the text a ‘final signified’.

The importance of the (supposed) existence of layer II is that its generation can be considered to be automatic as all subjective interventions on the side of the reader happens ‘after’ layer II, when generating layer III. In other words, for a given text, layer II will be more or less identical in all readers’ minds, since it is only on layer III that interpretative differences are introduced. Thus, on layer II, we have found the objectivity we have been longing for.

It is important to emphasize that the generation of layer II and layer III are not necessarily separated in time: these actions, most probably, happen synchronously.

It can also be said that layer II, in a sense, contains all possible readings of a text as it is (according to the present model) only a question of emphasis applied to the structures on this layer that a reader arrives at this or that interpretation.

Examples for this emphasis can be the queerist readings of G. B. Shaw’s Pygmalion and Mary W. Shelley’s Frankenstein. According to the reading of Shaw’s play, suggested by a student at Harvard College (in 2002), the drama is actually a love story between Higgins and Pickering, and not, as suggested by the musical version, between Higgins and Elisa. (It is questionable whether there is a love story at all in the original play.) It is true that Pickering, quite interestingly, simply moves to Higgins’ lodging and lives there for months, and that actually nothing in the text goes against the above interpretation, however, its validity is still questioned by the mere fact that from the point of view of the ‘message’ of the drama (also expressed by Shaw in the Preface and the sequel) it is simply irrelevant—and the fact that apparently nothing accounts for Pickering’s behavior is more probably a flaw than an intentional hint.

The very same argumentation can be held against the queerist reading of Frankenstein (related by a PhD student at the FAS of Harvard University in 2002) based on a single sentence uttered by the creation: “I go; but remember, I shall be with you on your wedding-night,”[5] from which the conclusion is drawn that the creation is in fact love with Victor Frankenstein. It need not be pointed out that this suggestion also goes against the main motive of the creation, who tries to persuade Victor to make a female companion for him.

In both readings, the interpretation is made possible by over-emphasizing some elements in the structures, which elements (i.e. the possible homosexuality of Pickering / Higgins / creation), however, are undoubtedly there on layer II, possibly accounting for an important part of the reader’s experience. The above readings emphasize these elements in the structures (regardless of consistency, even contradicting other elements in the text), while other interpretations, most probably, simply disregard them; hence the conclusion that in theory, all readings are derivable from layer II, which contains every structure present in a text.

We might also suggest that the generation of layer III is not necessarily a part of the act of reading (or reception in general): it happens in its full extent only if the reader is asked to verbalize layer II. If we also postulate that layer II is not in the conscious part of our mind, then this suggestion possibly makes more sense.

If this is true, then we may drop layer III from the scope of literary analyses, as it is the only subjective part of the so far suggested model. Therefore, from now on, we shall focus on how and what kinds of structures are built up by the text on layer II.

3           A Model of Composition and Reception

Before proceeding, however, let us take a look at the composition side of the artistic communication. For this process, a model similar to that of reception can be suggested: at the reception side, we have layer II building up from layer I, and layer III (the interpretation) making use of elements both from layer I and II. It can be suggested that the artist starts with an experience[6] which somehow is transliterated partly into the text, but mostly into structures that are similar to those in the reader’s mind. As layer I is the actual message transmitted between the two parties, the whole process can be represented by the following chart:

The encoded message transmitted during the communication might be divided into two parts: the direct flow consists of the (in the case of texts, verbal) elements actually transmitted, while the indirect flow consists of pieces of information that are associated with direct elements. Indirect elements are usually as important in the reception as direct ones; and this secondary flow of information is made possible by a base of associations (as a part of the environment of the communication) shared by the artist and the reader.[7]

Please note that what a reading aims to do by trying to provide a layer III for a literary work is to trace the work back to an experience the author most probably had. Although in some modern critical theories, the omnipotence (even the importance) of the author is seriously doubted,[8] the creation of a reading is actually furnishing the text with a newly created, supposed author/reader with the experience expressed in the reading itself. As this process, as suggested before, happens automatically in all readers to a certain extent (i.e. non-verbally), and thus the task of the scholar should be to oversee and account for this process, not to participate in it, I suggest to postulate the irreversibility of the III > II step in the composition process (which, again, is inseparable in time from the II > I step and exists separately only in theory). In other words, the present model regards layer III irrecoverable and therefore the task of properly recreating it futile.

4           The Inner and Outer Forms

Having excluded layer III from the scope of analyses, what remains are layer I and II. From now on, following the terminology used by Éva Babits, the term outer form will be used to refer to layer I, the text; and inner form[9] will refer to the newly introduced layer II. It is from this terminology that I have coined innerism as the general name for the approach described in this work. The term motivation will stand for the process of the creation of the structures in the inner form from elements residing in the outer one.

The inneristic approach investigates the structures in the inner form mainly driven by the observation that (1) the placement of certain elements in the inner form and their relation to each other are usually closely related to the world-view and model expressed in the artwork; and also investigates some qualities of the motivation because it is suggested that (2) the effectiveness of the motivation is often closely related to a certain kind of artistic quality of the artwork.[10] There are at least two serious concerns related to these two postulates. The first one is that they cannot be supported from within the model; the second one is that they require the analysis of the whole text in detail in order to escape the above-described trap of emphasis.

To the first concern, it might be said that these rules are empirical: they have been induced from numerous analyses of numerous texts. As such, they are, unfortunately, unsupportable by the theory; they serve as kinds of axioms for the framework of innerism.

The second concern cannot be dismissed so easily. It is clearly impossible to collect every element and to establish and account for every possible connection among them in a given text. In order to make this task at least possible to take on and, at the same time, retain objectivity as much as possible, we shall determine what kind of elements to look for; also, several sample structures shall be defined that can be searched for in a given text. It is clear that a certain amount of the emphasis-fallacy is inevitable, still, I think that with some experience with the to-be defined tools, one may arrive at judgments about a text that can be easily supported and almost proved—in other words, which are at least partially objective.

This is the way innerism attempts to overcome the apparent contradiction between the inherently subjective nature of the inner form (as it exists only in the reader) and the desired objectivity of the judgments about or derived from it.

Please also note that the judgments this approach allows us to make about texts are not interpretations, while, hopefully, they can be related, to a certain extent, to the ‘meanings’ of the texts. These judgments merely point out connections, proportions, etc. which (because of the very way they are determined) are perceivable and available to every reader of the given text, so in this sense, they give no new information about the text which was not there before—unlike readings, which appear to do so. This result, naturally, is not surprising, as the pre-requisite for all such judgments was objectivity.

Therefore, these kinds of judgments can (only) be used when the reader is asked to formulate an objective, verbal judgment over a given text. That is, the approach of innerism becomes especially useful (a) for art critics, whose main task is to pass judgment over a new artwork before it is ‘tested’ by many readers/receptors (e.g. by putting it on stage or having it exhibited), and also (b) for students, who, according to my personal experience, will develop more flexible interpretative strategies if they use this approach to respond to texts verbally. (A suggestion to be verified.)

It can be seen that according to what I have suggested as desired above, creativity, in its original sense, is not an inherent part of inneristic analyses.

5           Elements of Reality—the Atomic Side

It has been suggested so far that analyses should investigate the structures in the inner form built up by certain (or all) elements in the outer form, yet, what elements to account for has not yet been determined.

According to the universality and objectivity criteria, every element and every connection should be accounted for when analyzing the inner form; but as argued in the previous section, this is not possible to carry out. Therefore, the scope of the analysis should be narrowed to elements whose functions in generating the structures are easily traceable.

A plausible suggestion is to focus on elements which are present in both the outer and inner forms in more or less the same form. This definition entails

— that such elements are not easily dividable, as their qualities are not distorted during the act of reception, i.e. while they are translated from an objective text into a subjective, possibly visual cognitive model; in other words, that they are atom-like;

— and from their atomic quality, it can be suggested, that the set of elements they are usually associated with is more or less fixed (in a given [spatially and temporally particular] culture or interpretative community, at least), and that this set does not depend on the environment of the element. (Please note that, naturally, not all possible associations are triggered in a given text.)

— and that, for similar reasons, their aesthetic value can be objectively approximated (under the same conditions) on a one-dimensional (from negative to positive) scale.

According to my experience, such elements are usually nouns — possibly accompanied by adjectives or other modifiers —, and verbs denoting simple actions or happenings. It is because of this observation that the term element of reality (EOR for short)[11] is used to denote them. Some examples: table, giving birth, war, sword, rusty chain, falling.

Based on their usual lexical categories, it can also be assumed that EORs are usually visualizable to a certain extent.

6           Structures and Layers in the Inner Form

Having defined what elements to search for in a text, I shall turn to defining some (sample) structures which might prove useful in describing the arrangement of EORs in the inner form.

Layers A and B.[12] Every EOR resides either on layer A, or on layer B, or, in special cases, on both. Layer A contains elements which are, or can be physically present in the reality generated by the text; while layer B accommodates elements which are not. Most figures (simile, metaphor, personification) connect one element from layer A with another one on layer B. In other words, elements on layer A are described by elements on layer B.

For example, in the simile ‘His lips were like the petals of a rose on a dusty summer evening,’ his lips are on layer A, while petals, rose, summer, dust and evening are all on layer B. The structure of metaphors is similar. The case of symbols is more interesting, as there, the described element is missing and the describer moves to layer A to take over the role of the described; thus it belongs to both layers. Possible examples: Egy dög* by Baudelaire, A magyar ugaron, Harc a Nagyúrral by Ady, or the woodwind instruments as sexual symbols in, for example, Renaissance paintings.

At times, whole images (to be defined shortly) may appear on a single layer; it can also happen that one image describes the other one, that is, two images enter the same relationship as elements have in a simile. In these cases, it often happens that the distinction between the described and describer, or between the view (A) and vision (B)[13] is blurred: both images are present visually to the same extent and successfully describe (motivate) each other. This relationship is called a complex image[14] and Attila József’s ‘Ringató’ is a perfect example for it.

The relationship between layers A and B seems to be determined to a certain extent by the age or period the text was written in. For reasons here not related, it can be suggested that in myths, only layer B exists which takes the position of layer A; in the Renaissance, elements on layer A are prevailing, realism seems to make use of both kinds of elements equally; in Romanticism, the emphasis shifts to layer B, which later begins to incorporate layer A (in the pre-symbolist poems of Baudelaire and Rimbaud, for example) which process reaches its peak in symbolism.[15]

Images.[16] An image is a usually visualizable set of EORs centered around one EOR, the subject[17] of the image. This subject is motivated by the other EORs in the image, which may provide details in order to build up a model of the subject; they may place the model somewhere on the aesthetic scale, etc. The whole inner form is sometimes considered to be the collection of all images in a text.

The main role of images (a topic to be reconsidered later) is to successfully convey the experience (layer III) to the reader. It follows then naturally that from all or a subset of the images, one of the problems central to the experience may be clearly perceived. We shall call the abstracted version of this problem the theme,[18] which is usually a concept like war, love, etc. Please note that according to this definition, a work may have more than one themes.

It is also usually possible to select from the set of images related to a theme the most important one, the base image.[19] The subject of this image can be considered to be the subject of the portion of the text related to the theme. As the given theme is represented by the images related to it, it can be said that the subject (signifier) is the center of the representation of the theme (signified).

For example, in Odyssey, to the theme of travel, the images around Odysseus are connected. The subject of this portion of the text is a man (Odysseus, when motivated). Paralleled to this section, we find the images connected to the theme of home, the subject of which is arguably a woman (Penelope), but can be considered to be Odysseus again, as home is defined mainly from his point of view.

The question might arise whether it is possible to determine a theme and subject for the entire work. It can be argued that in the case of Odyssey, travel is actually the theme of the whole text, as it incorporates the state of being home. Man-Odysseus himself may be regarded as the global subject for similar reasons. However, determining theme and subject globally (for the entire work, as opposed to the local approach suggested above) is not always this straightforward.

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, for example, what can be regarded as the theme? Is love (encountering obstacles) the theme, represented by a boy and a girl (subject), or should we regard ‘the clash between Renaissance and pre-Renaissance world-views’ as the theme (experience; see the treatment of names and the question of social standing) represented by love (between a boy and a girl) (subject)? This problem suggests that the experience, or the problem presented by a work cannot usually be abstracted to a single concept. A work, in my view, provides a model of the whole, or a portion of the world which might be centered around several problems successfully representing and motivating each other like, on a smaller scale, complex images do. It is for this reason that I have suggested the local definition of theme, base image and subject, and will suggest a local view on metathesis, too.

It is worth noting that in the case of Romeo and Juliet, we seem to be faced by a chain, in which the former element motivates the next one: a boy and a girl -> love (facing obstacles rooted in rigid social structure = feudal world-view) -> the clash between world-views, and we seem to have picked either the first element as subject and the second as theme, or the second as subject (signifier) and the third as theme (signified). Based on this observation, my suggestion is to either drop the idea of global subject and theme altogether, or to push them to the extremes: i.e. define the subject as the central EOR and nothing else, and select, if possible, the topmost layer that can still be meaningfully abstracted for the theme. I have coined the term continuous motivation for these cases to show that most texts seem to make use of layers residing between the signifier EOR and the signified ‘problem’.[20]

Distance between theme and subject.[21] It has been suggested above that the subject serves as the center of the representation of the theme. Thus, their distance (determinable, again, only in a temporally and spatially limited culture or interpretative community) seems to be related to the ‘width of the gap’ between the signifier and the signified, or the extent of the so-called metathesis (to be defined shortly). Babits has also suggested that this distance constantly widened during the course of time, from the Middle Ages to Symbolism. After that time, with the disappearance of more or less global periods, this generalization (quite expectedly) ceases to hold.

Aesthetic balance.[22] It has been argued above, that many qualities of EORs seem to be pre-determined (again, in a particular culture) and little altered by the actual environment of the EOR. One such quality has been suggested to be their aesthetic value. Child, garden, flower, etc. can be argued to have a positive aesthetic value, while mildew, rot, corpse, etc. seem to represent more negative ones. By the term aesthetic balance, I suggest that it is generally required for a work to have a balanced representation of all kinds of aesthetic values in order to be able to represent a believable model of its experience and to avoid a kind of biasedness. According to my experience, the prevalence of positive elements leads to a kitschy effect, while that of negative elements almost immediately alienates the contemporary reader.

Although this suggestion might seem to be a kind of ‘prescription’ for ‘good’ works, it is worth noting that this requirement is almost always met by literary texts not centered around one single concept exclusively; in fact, it is hard to find texts which do not yield to it. The use of this notion probably leads to more interesting observations if applied not to the entire work, but to single layers (A, B, or those of reality) alone.

Layers of reality.[23] Apart from arranging EORs on layers A and B depending on their roles as describer or described elements, EORs can also be classified according to their origins or places in the model of the world. Following, but slightly altering Babits’s (and possibly many socio/psychologists’) suggestions, the following layers could be established: that of personal elements, of social elements, of historical elements, of religious / transcendental elements, and of natural elements. Investigating that according to this kind of classification, what kind of EORs motivate given images, and whether positive or negative elements dominate certain layers, we might be able to determine certain qualities of the world-view expressed in a literary work.

As an example for an analysis based on layers of reality, that of Isten by Attila József could be cited, where the image of God is motivated by / placed alongside with elements on the personal and social layers; that is, God becomes integrated into the everyday experience of the lyrical I. Further semantic considerations and the fact that the lyrical I appears only at the end of the poem may lead to the conclusion that the poem represents an a posteriori definition of God, thus the poem can be argued to have a world-view reminiscent of subjective idealism.

So far, we have defined some structures the investigation of which may prove useful in exploring the arrangement of EORs in the inner form, in determining the world-view of the work and in studying how the problems central to the experience (the themes) are represented and treated by the work itself.

Some of these structures are like statistics (layers A and B, aesthetic segregation, layers of reality) inasmuch as the number of slots which the EORs in a text can fall into is predetermined and as they allow the analyzer to draw conclusions from the dominance of some layers over the others; the co-occurrence of more salient elements (subjects, lyrical I, etc.) on the same layers, etc.

The other type of structures, the images, however, seem to create new elements from the EORs apart from establishing connections among them; as whole images appear to be able to enter the statistics and to motivate larger images as single EORs do. Also, the number of and relationships between images is not fixed unlike in the case of layers (‘slots’) that have been established so far.

7           Motivation and Effectiveness

In this section, we shall turn to the second postulate; to the ways of investigating how images are being motivated by EORs and whether this motivation is effective or not. By effectiveness, I generally mean the absence of redundant elements which are not incorporated into the images and, consequently, which would distract the attention of the reader.

Although this statement again sounds as a prescriptive rule that all ‘good’ works and artists intending to create ‘good’ texts are to follow, please note that this statement is not at all that restrictive. Imagine, for example, an artist who decides to go against this ‘rule’, and to consciously use elements which do not fit into the structures built up by the addressees using a given interpretative strategy, this way calling attention to the inadequacy of that particular strategy of relating to artworks or to the world. In this case, the elements in question cease to be redundant as they have a clearly articulated function—therefore, the above ‘rule’ does not apply to them any more.

(It can be argued that the goals of the epic theater were similar to the imaginary artist described above. Nowadays, elements related to the V-effect are interpreted without any difficulty, while, as it has been suggested by many theorists, they were considered uninterpretable at the beginning of Brecht’s career.)

Under the notion of effectiveness, however, we shall also try to investigate the differences in the abilities of EORs to motivate and the phenomenon of over-motivation.

Compression.[24] The notion of compression is closely related to the EORs’ ability to have associations triggered and therefore, to motivate. An artwork makes use of compression if it uses many EORs which trigger several associations and manages to incorporate these associations into the inner form. In other words, in an artwork making use of compression extensively, the indirect flow of information becomes especially important.

An example for a line with compression can be “Brighter is the sword / Than the restrain’d chain” (S. Petõfi, my adaptation), in which sword is associated to fight, and chain effectively carries the meaning of oppression. It can also be ‘felt’ that the above line is much more ‘dense’ than the following imaginary one with approximately the same meaning: “Brighter is the fight / Fought with glitt’ring swords / Than to be restrain’d / By rusty chains and words.”

It has been suggested above that it is not enough to employ EORs with wide associative capabilities, but it is also important to integrate the associations meaningfully into the inner form. Éva Babits suggested that this is not the case in Exupéry’s The Little Prince, as no associations are made use of which are triggered by the EOR fox. The fox in the tale behaves not in a way expected by a reader familiar with other fox-tales (folk-tales, for example). Therefore, the associations triggered by fox (cunning, double-dealer, selfish, etc.) remain unintegrated, thus distracting for the reader, and the process of motivation (arguably) becomes less effective than it could be.

Overall, I risk the suggestion that the use of compression makes motivation more effective. However, why this should be is not entirely clear.

Over-motivation. Over-motivation is the phenomenon when everything is provided by a text, and, consequently, there is nothing to ‘add’ to it by the reader. Usually, the indirect flow of information is either nonexistent or made superfluous by expressing every element previously triggered by associations later directly. This kind of motivation also seems to be inadequate, probably because the reader loses interest in the flow of information.

Examples for over-motivation range from stories with a “moral” to over-colored, kitschy cartoons and movies. The statement that over-motivation is ineffective is, naturally, an experiential one and is true only as far as my experience goes. Its reasons or causes might be related to the fact that the communicative connection between two parties is usually broken if one party perceives that the other one tries to satisfy his/her inquiry by repeating prefabricated phrases or the same pieces of information (commonplaces, for example) over and over again.

Also, the concept of over-motivation can be related to theories which presuppose the existence of ‘gaps’ in literary texts which are to be filled during the process of reading.[25] Please note that these theories deal with some phenomena of reception from the temporal point of view (e.g. investigating in what order certain pieces of information reach the reader causing surprise or confusion, etc.) which point of view is consistently missing from the inneristic approach.

These concepts might help the reader to articulate (and first, to form) a judgment over the effectiveness of the motivation of a given artwork. It has been suggested that ineffectiveness of motivation usually goes hand-in-hand with objectionable artistic quality—but, again, it should be emphasized that if any of the above listed (experientially determined) “flaws” are employed deliberately by an artist, then the above “rules” do not apply to them any more.

The key term here, as elsewhere, seems to be consistency. If a specific quality of a given layer is consistent with other qualities of the artwork, and it has a function in the whole structure, then its presence is artistically valid; otherwise, its effect often goes against the already built model and obscures it. Requirements similar to this one were phrased by Mark Schorer[26] and Wordsworth.[27]

8           The Model of Composition and Reception—Reconsidered. The Function of Art

This section shall reconsider the processes (existing in this form, again, only in theory) of composition in the light of recently defined concepts and relations. First, let me start with two definitions.

Lyrical I. The other party in the artistic communication (i.e. not the reader). Can also be the persona, the agent, the narrator, etc.; to all these, I shall refer to by the term lyrical I. From this definition, it follows that the inneristic approach generally supposes under any circumstances that the author and the lyrical I are not identical. This assumption is closely related to the alleged irrecoverableness of the original experience.

Metathesis.[28] Generally, the transliteration of one model to another one. The process which expresses some qualities of one element by another one in, for example, a symbol or a simile can also be regarded as an instance of metathesis. Specifically, by metathesis, I refer to the process which transposes the experience to the inner and outer forms (the III > II&I step). It has been argued above that by the distance between the theme and the subject related to it, it is possible to “measure” the extent of metathesis.

Similarly to the theme and the subject, I adopt a local definition of metathesis, too, inasmuch as it is definable only between a theme–subject pair and not necessarily for a whole literary work.

Processes in composition. Although I have argued that the III > II&I step is irrecoverable, and this assumption, in my experience, has proved fruitful, somehow in a literary work, it can still be perceived how removed the lyrical I is from the author. If the lyrical I is considerably different from the author, then it could be suggested that the author somehow alienated the experience; in other words, the experiencer of the experience (originally the author) became the lyrical I. Often, it is this alienation that seems to enable the author to have an outside viewpoint on the whole experience and to analyze and interpret it fully.[29]

If this is so, then in the III > II&I step, there are at least two processes happening: the first one is the metathesis, which aims at expressing the experience using another, more unexpected model; the second one is the alienation, during which the author is being removed from the artwork. The question arises: can these two processes be separated, or they are distinct, again, only in theory? Can literary works be found which employ only one of the two? How can these questions be answered if we postulated that layer III is irrecoverable?

The answers to the first two questions seem to be yes and no at the same time. On the first sight, a diary with artistic qualities (using extended similes, allegories, etc.) appear to be an artwork in which there is no alienation but the metathesis is wide, since every rhetoric figure can be argued to represent the local problem by another image. Similarly, many poems of Wordsworth appear to be of this kind: they often relate experiences of the author himself (although not always), while making use of similes, metaphors, etc. extensively. Tony Harrison’s V. is another example for this type of poetry: it can be “felt” that the experience is personal while one can find subtle images, associations (those around the word “United”, for example), and even multiple personae in the poem. I risk the judgment over these works that they are like ‘thinking or speaking in verse’ to many 21st century, non-English-speaking readers (or, at least 3 of them that I have recently interviewed).

Opposed to this group we find some poems of Coleridge (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, but not the ‘conversational’ ones), of the French pre-symbolists, of Ady, etc. In many of these poems, the assumption that the lyrical I is not identical with the author is not an unbearable one for many readers (not even for those whose interpretative strategy dictates to suppose the opposite)—in other words, in these poems, the III > II&I step appears to include alienation apart from metathesis.

This distinction is closely connected to Valéry’s classification of ‘les vers donnés’ vs. those ‘calculés.’[30] According to Martin, Valéry classifies Wordsworthian poems as ‘donnés’, while those of Yeats as ‘calculés’, thus it seems that poems without alienation are ‘donnés’ according to Valéry, while those with alienation are ‘calculés’. This comes as no surprise considering the above judgment about the first type of poems: they, being similar to everyday communication, but having a verse form, often have a more linear structure. In other words, the experience a reader probably has when reading a poem ‘donné’ is that the poem just ‘flowed out’ of the poet—hence (probably) the name Valéry gave to this group. As opposed to the ‘linearity’ of the poems ‘donnés’, poems ‘calculés’ appear to be more held together by a central idea or character. (I shall return to this distinction again when defining linear vs. global cohesion.)

But the main problem with this distinction is that the relationship between the author and the lyrical I should be, according to our previous assumptions, irrelevant for the internal structure of a given artwork. And it is here where we arrive at the ‘no’ part of the answer to the first two questions. In order to overcome this contradiction, and to remain consistent with our experience, it can be argued that alienation and metathesis are, in fact, not separable by claiming that poems ‘donnés’ lack continuous metathesis; and it is they, as it has been shown, which lack alienation, too. By continuous metathesis (as opposed to the fragmented one), I refer to the phenomenon where the whole experience is being transliterated into another, coherent model. What makes the poems ‘donnés’ perceivable as more similar to linear interpersonal communication is that they usually (it is, of course, a rough generalization) employ fragmented metathesis only. In other words, we do find instances of metatheses in poems ‘donnés’, but they are likely to remain on the level of (rhetorical) figures.

This conclusion, naturally, is not entirely unexpected as if the experience as a whole is transposed into another structure, then its experiencer is also likely to get a different representation in the new model; and the alienation of the experiencer usually entails the creation of new surroundings for the new lyrical I—that is, to build a different structure of the experience around it. Thus the suggestion that alienation and continuous metathesis are equivalent can be maintained.

It should be emphasized again that the above categories are described in the extremes. There is no clear boundary between continuous and fragmented metathesis, and no poems fall into the ‘donné’ or ‘calculé’ category fully.

Also, please note that the continuous/fragmented metathesis is an entirely different categorization than that of global/local metathesis. The first two differ in the level the metathesis operates on; the second two differ in the images that fall into the scope of metathesis.

Artistic vs. everyday texts. So far, it has been suggested that the absence of continuous metathesis causes significant differences in the model of an artwork, as far as the placement of the lyrical I goes. But it has not been considered what happens if metathesis is skipped altogether in the III > II&I step. Babits argues that this is the case of everyday communication: the experience (layer III) is directly rendered into the outer form (layer I). In other words, in the total absence of metathesis, layer II, the inner form, is deemed either nonexistent, or virtually equivalent to the experience.

It could be added that this observation is in accordance with the second definition of the inner form, which suggests that the inner form consists of the images found in a text, provided we postulate (as Babits does) that only artistic texts contain images. Indeed, the existence of a coherent image significantly different from the original experience would prove to be an instance of metathesis, contradicting our assumption that everyday texts use little or no metathesis whatsoever.

Babits also suggests that in everyday communication, the linear type of cohesion is prevalent. This statement can be supported by the observation that images are inherently held together by global cohesion, and any instance of global cohesion could be interpreted as an image. Thus, the absence of images immediately entails the absence of global cohesion.

The function of art. So far, we have seen it is not implausible to suggest that one of the most important qualities of artistic texts (and, probably, of artistic communication in general) is the presence of metathesis. But the function of this phenomenon has not yet been considered. Naturally, the answer to this question falls, most likely, into the realm of psychology, but still, let me call attention to a few observations that may shed more light upon the function in question.

Many scholars have argued that artistic texts function differently from everyday ones.[31] It seems as though the human mind employed a ‘rational sieve’ that filters all incoming information—and as if artistic flows of information had the ability to go round this sieve. This suggestion is in accordance with my experience that it is much harder to escape the effect of an artistic than a non-artistic text (in other words, it is easier to reject the latter); and with Babits’s suggestion that an artistic text has the same effect on a reader regardless of his/her liking or rejecting it.

It also seems that the wider the metathesis is, the more fully a text is able to bypass this sieve—as if texts with wide metatheses affect primarily an unconscious part of the mind before being realized (‘from below’) in the conscious.

The above suggestion is also closely related to the supposed effect of artworks on a reader’s value systems. It is suggested that everybody has two kinds of value systems.[32] The first one is the verbal one: it controls the statements one utters verbally and is usually determined by verbal messages. The second one might be termed the experiential one: it controls one’s actions and, unlike the verbal one, is determined by personal experiences.[33] The two value systems are very likely to be different.

This difference was shown quite convincingly by an experiment conducted by Éva Babits. Participants first had to rank various concepts in order of importance, then, they were told a story in which characters acted (more or less) according to the concepts mentioned before. Then they had to rank the characters (quickly, so as not to realize the connection) in order of sympathy.

The first order (of concepts) expressed the verbal value system. Love and virtue were usually ranked high, while money low. The second list (of characters) estimated one’s experiential value system. Quite uniformly (and notably) money preceded virtue in these lists.

It could be concluded, thus, that the verbal value systems were mostly determined by the morals and slogans advertised by the society while the experiential ones (which are usually less conscious) were derived from the participants’ actual experiences collected so far.

Based on these observations, I concluded that while everyday texts affect the verbal value system and usually cannot alter the experiential one, artistic texts have the ability to change the experiential value system of a reader while not necessarily altering the verbal. This, of course, is a pragmatic view of art, and notably a quite optimistic one, still, from this suggestion, it follows that according to this approach, the primary function of art is to express an experience in a way that it functions like a (personal) experience in the addressee, too. If all the above propositions about the inner form of everyday communication hold, then it can also be concluded that non-artistic communication does not have the ability to create experience, mainly because it will inevitably filtered through the ‘rational sieve’.

9           Some Further Concepts

Cohesion. The global and linear types of cohesion have been probably defined many times. For the present purposes, I found the following distinction especially useful: in a text with linear cohesion, every element is fully interpretable at the moment of its appearance, that is, every information necessary for determining its place in the (inner) structure is already available when it reaches the addressee. According to my experience, the reception of texts with global cohesion usually includes retrospection: some elements may change the interpretation of other elements that occurred before.

Catharsis. I have suggested above that literary texts (and artworks in general) usually provide a model of one or more problems and a portion of the world that surrounds these central themes. We might get a possible definition of catharsis based on the observation that the feeling associated to catharsis is similar to the emotion of “everything falls into place”, when one solves a problem, a riddle, discovers a pun, etc. In my view, a reader (addressee) experiences catharsis if the artwork provides a model that successfully describes, explains and/or interprets for him/her the problem central to it. This feeling can occur either immediately, or later, retrospectively, when the reader discovers how various elements of a text fall into the model provided by the artwork. Overall, catharsis might be similar to the phenomenon of pregnancy,[34] which denotes the overbearing nature of one, better interpretation of a doubly interpretable or previously uninterpretable phenomenon.

Consider the following image: (I have, unfortunately, lost its reference. The text reprinted here contains a definition of pregnancy. Some words have been deleted from the picture.)

The squared part contains some figures with (at first sight) unclear interpretation. But when the addressee (‘reader’) discovers what this D-shaped area, the two gloves, the arrows and another blob signify, s/he gets a new, a better interpretation of the image as it explains better and more fully what is on the picture. Later, the reader will be unable to escape from this interpretation, and will lose the ability not to use it when looking on the image. Thus—according to the above-presented definition—s/he will undergo catharsis. For the ‘better’ interpretation, see this footnote.[35]

This definition of catharsis also includes (by the adverb successfully) the condition of the reader’s liking the text: in my experience, readers rejecting a particular text rarely undergo catharsis. This suggestion is in apparent contradiction with my previous statement that a text has the same effect on a reader regardless of his/her liking it, but this contradiction can be overcome if it is postulated that catharsis is not a necessary or an inherent part of the effect of an artwork—that is, it can still provide an experience without evoking this feeling.

The distance between the lyrical I and the subject. Babits also suggested the investigation of the relationship between the (global) subject and the lyrical I, based on the argumentation that this relationship reflects the author’s supposed ‘place in the world’. This suggestion is quite plausible as in the act of metathesis, the problem around which the artwork is centered is transliterated into the subject (signifier) and the author (experiencer) is transposed into the lyrical I (secondary experiencer). So, the equivalent of the author and problem (theme), both residing on layer III, are the lyrical I and the subject, respectively, residing on layer II and thus, on layer I, and therefore the relationships between them are arguably similar.

Babits also suggested that from the Middle Ages to Symbolism, the gap between the lyrical I and the subject (similarly to the gap between the theme and the subject) was constantly widening. Although this statement can be illustrated by many examples, it is far from being supported.

10       General Ideas about Innerism

By the definitions above, I hope to establish some concepts with which one would be able to react to a literary work using well-formed language, where by ‘well-formedness,’ I mean that the judgments or statements in the reaction have specific and concrete meaning, and thus, the statements can be tested against the actual literary work or against other statements. My experience with these concepts was that many readers reached more or less the same conclusions about the basic qualities of a literary work (its subject, theme, the placement of the lyrical I, the extent of the metathesis, etc.), therefore, the whole approach seems to offer a framework which enables readers to make (possibly meaningless, but at least partially) objective judgments over a piece of literature.

In the course of this note, it has been suggested many times that although some qualities of artworks seem to be directly related to their effectiveness in creating experience (in motivating), these suggestions are to be revised later on as newer and newer artistic techniques appear in order to account for newer and newer human experiences. That is, innerism is not a prescriptive but a descriptive framework: it tries to account for and establish connections between some phenomena; not to predict what an ideally functioning artwork should look like.


Generally, I found that a shift of focus from the creator of the analysis (of the reading) of a literary work to a group of readers (estimating their reactions to the work) would not only be desirable, but also useful, as trying to predict the inner form building up in other (contemporary) reader’s minds might force the scholar to break out of the limitations of his/her own understanding of the artwork and to establish strategies by which s/he could assess the general ‘value’ of it. In short, with other readers in mind, a scholar—according to the present view—may develop more flexible interpretative strategies.

In the long run, I think it would be desirable to integrate the accomplishments of media (reception) theories and current results of psychology and neurological studies into literary inquires. Although the idea of a neuro-literary science will most probably remain a utopia (although it has proved to be feasible in the case of linguistics), it would be important to realize the possible connections between these fields. In my view, it would also be important to generally redefine what counts as criticism and what is creative enough to claim the status of an artwork—and lose its validity as a scientific study.


The other area in which the framework of innerism may prove useful is education. Apart from the already suggested idea about developing flexible interpretative strategies, the concepts of innerism might also be helpful because (1) they allow even those students who are not interested in a certain text to relate to it as many qualities of the given artwork can be determined—let me use this term—almost automatically; and (2) these concepts often provide a simpler or more exact definition of literary concepts than those nowadays widespread.

A symbol, for example, according to The Norton Anthology of English Literature, is “the representation of an object or event which has a further range of reference beyond itself.”[36] The definition suggested by the inneristic approach (that a symbol is an element which moves from layer B to A) may well appear as to be more exact, not to dwell on the point that in literary texts usually everything “has a further range of reference beyond itself.”

Similarly, a dramatic monologue can be argued to be a poem in which the lyrical I and one of the subjects are the same—a definition, again, more concrete that the one used by The Norton Anthology (in Browning’s case): “The dramatic monologue, as Browning uses it, separates the speaker from the poet in such a way that the reader must work through the words of the speaker to discover the meaning of the poet”[37]—which definition also entails the possibility to know (and the existence of) the “meaning of the poet” and that the speaker and the poet are the ‘same’ in non-dramatic-monologue poems—in which points it clearly contradicts what innerism would suggest.

Also, partly as a technique in teaching, let me suggest the investigation of not only canonized works generally considered ‘good’ but also of other, ‘bad’ texts. (This method has been being quite fruitful in the fields of linguistics, where the hypotheses are supported not only by well-, but also by ill-formed sentences.) Such inquiries, in my view, are inevitable if the general difference between well-functioning, ‘good’ texts and ‘bad’ ones, or the difference between artistic and non-artistic texts is to be ever discovered, or, alternatively, if it is to be shown that such a difference—with our present tools—cannot be meaningfully formulated and articulated.

11       The Place of Innerism Related to Other Theories

In this section, it is attempted to relate the concepts and suggestions of innerism to other theories and views I have had access to so far, mostly by citing ideas that are, or seem to be similar to the ones suggested in this note. Not all theories and references mentioned here are digested fully yet; they are mentioned as possible starting points for future inquires.


M. H. Abram’s categories. M. H. Abrams divides various critical trends into four main categories: he distinguishes between mimetic, pragmatic, expressive and objective trends.[38] An interesting facet of innerism is that it seems to makes use of all of the latter three trends, thus it could be attributed an integrative facet. By the models of composition and reception, it tries to account for (in a symmetric manner) what is being expressed and how by the artist and how does the artwork affect the reader. And by suggesting that an analysis of an artwork should be based on the elements found in the text, it also seems to embrace a kind of objectivism (while, naturally, not ruling out the possibility of investigating the contemporary environment of the artistic communication, as suggested by, for example, cultural materialism).


Mark Turner’s critique of readings. Mark Turner also criticizes the prevailing activity of creating readings, but on grounds different from those presented at the beginning of this note. Still, one of his suggestions about what scholarly criticism should investigate instead stands close to my suggestions.

Giving readings is important and could be done better if we understood reading. […] But I ask a different and evidently prior set of questions. Given a bit of language, a discourse, or a text, how does a reader understand it? Given alternative readings, what were the different processes that led to those alternative understandings?[39]

These questions of Turner seem also to revolve around the method a text creates meaning, although he generalizes this question not only to artistic, but to all types of texts. And in this sense, he focuses on the same problem than the alternative question I formulated at the beginning of section 2 does.


Károly Csúri attempts to establish the bases for a science of literature.[40] He also suggests the introduction of a more exact language for literary criticism so that its statements are testable—but not against the original artwork, as suggested in this note, but, following K. R. Popper’s views on scientific methods, against other theories in order to decide which theory proves to be progressive and more promising for future studies. (This argumentation could be also used to support the introduction of the quasi-formalism of innerism.) To this end, Csúri introduces a subtle formalism, which, however, as he appears to mainly investigate how elements in the text relate to the outer world, has little in common with the tools of innerism.


Alexander A. Potebnja’s theory of literature. What makes the works of Alexander A. Potebnja (1835–1891, according to John Fizer, virtually unknown to Western theorists but familiar to Russian critics) particularly interesting is that he, possibly among many other theorists, also made a distinction between inner and outer forms, or, using his terminology, internal and external forms.[41]

Potebnja established a parallel between the structure of a word and that of a literary work, inasmuch as according to him, both have an external form, an internal form and significance (a content or an idea).[42] In this respect, his system appears to be similar to the three layers defined in the course of this note, but there are some differences between the two proposals. For example, he gives no definition whatsoever of the inner form of a literary work,[43] and he defines the inner form of a word as, in Fizer’s words, “the particular mode by which [the word’s] intended content or reality is presented.”[44] In Fizer’s work, what this definition entails is not made entirely clear, and in many instances, Potebnja (as does Humboldt[45]) appears to use internal form to signify a word’s ability to trigger associations, usually based on formal (auditive) similarities. In other words, Potebnja’s internal form seems to be more a part of the layer of the text and less a model or structure existing in the reader’s mind as is the inner form defined by Babits. He also seems to propose that in time, images (the internal form) can be ‘used up’ and that they ultimately disappear[46]—which standpoint is clearly different from that of innerism. Despite the dissimilarities, Potebnja also seems to suggest that the internal form is, in fact, the image(s) in a poetic text—which idea, also appearing to be held by some Russian theorists, may have well reached Éva Babits.

Also, Potebnja’s idea (which I found after the introduction of the three layers) that “[the internal form] is the only objective given in the work of poetic art and in perception remains almost unaltered” while “[the significance] changes markedly in every new perception of [the internal form]”[47] is strikingly similar to the role I have given to layer III, despite the fact that according to my model, it is the outer (external) form, not the internal one, that exists objectively, and that the notions of Potebnja’s internal and Babits’s inner forms, as suggested above, are most probably different.

Overall, Potebnja’s theory appears to be similar or even challenging to the suggestions I have compiled in this note; integrating some of his propositions into this framework might be a next step in its development.

Let me list here some works and scholars Fizer refers to who appear to have employed the concepts of internal/inner form and image. These sources might help in determining the roots of Babits’s views. Benedetto Corce: Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistics, Karl Vossler, Leo Spitzer, Erich Auerbach (2); Wilhelm Humboldt; Fizer refers to “Russian theorists who posited images as the principal category of the poetic text” (6); Gustav Shpet’s historical survey of the inner form (40); Steinthal: Grammatik, Logik und Psychologie (43–44); Roman Jakobson: “Closing Statement: Linguistics and Poetics” in Style in Language, ed. Thomas A. Sebeok (Cambridge, MIT Press, 1960). (135).

12       About the Source

The majority of the concepts and some of the definitions presented in this note are based on Éva Babits’s lectures at the Mihály Fazekas Grammar School, Budapest, 1997–2001. In the endnotes, I always indicated if an idea is taken from Ms. Babits’s works. In the near future, with her help, I hope to trace back some of the concepts which appeared in her lectures to their original sources in order to be able to relate innerism to other theories of literature.

[1] Please note that even those critical writings can be argued to make efforts to prove a ‘meaning’ which compare texts, meta-texts and/or state the subjectivity of their statements.

[2] Mark Turner, The Study of English in the Age of Cognitive Science (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1991), 7–8, 19.

[3] qtd. by Boldizsár Fejérvári, seminar on English drama, ANN-112/o, ELTE University, Budapest, 2002; and by Máté Szabó, personal communication, 2004.

[4] For a definition of interpretative strategies, see Stanley Fish, “Interpreting the Variorum,” (1976) in Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader, ed. David Lodge (London: Longman, 1988), 311–329. (?)

[5] Mary W. Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, (1818) in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 7th ed. Ed. M. H. Abrams et al. (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2000), 2:1001

[6] Or ‘belsõ érzéki kép’. This term was taken from the work of Éva Babits, but it was my idea to use it synonymously with experience (possibly contradicting its accepted use). Otherwise, the model described in this section is entirely my work.

[7] TO BE INCLUDED: denotative / connotative (also in Sarbu p18)

[8] For example, Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author,” (1968) in Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader, ed. David Lodge (London: Longman, 1988), 167–171.

[9] The Hungarian terms for inner and outer forms (‘belsõ forma’ and ‘külsõ forma’, respectively) were also introduced by É. Babits, and I have not encountered them elsewhere. Their introduction by the postulated layer II and the omission of layer III is my work.

[10] These two postulates, roughly in the same form, were suggested by É. Babits.

[11] ‘Valóságelem.’ This term was also taken from É. Babits’s works, while the above definition of EORs and the suggestions determining their qualities are my work.

[12] Layers A and B (‘A és B képsík’) were introduced and defined in the same way by É. Babits.

[13] ‘Látvány és látomás’ in Hungarian, following the terminology (also) used by É. Babits.

[14] Again defined in the same way by É. Babits.

[15] This temporal comparison was suggested entirely by É. Babits.

[16] ‘Képek.’ Term taken from and defined similarly in Babits’s work.

[17] ‘Tárgy.’ Term introduced similarly by Babits.

[18] ‘Téma.’ Term taken from Babits’s work; however, its local (not global, i.e. for the entire work) definition is my idea.

[19] ‘Alapkép.’ Term similarly defined by Babits, although only globally.

[20] TO BE INCLUDED: Continuous motivation incorporates the notion of montage and sujet.

[21] Suggested entirely by É. Babits.

[22] My suggestion for an experiential ‘rule’.

[23] ‘Valóságsíkok.’ A classification suggested by É. Babits.

[24] ‘Sûrítés.’ Suggested and defined similarly by Babits.

[25] cf. Wolfgang Iser, “The reading process: a phenomenological approach.” (1972) in Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader, ed. David Lodge (London: Longman, 1988), 212–228.

[26] Mark Schorer, “Technique as Discovery,” (1948) in The World We Imagine. Selected Essays by Mark Schorer (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1968), 3–23.

[27] William Wordsworth, “Preface to Lyrical Ballads,” (1802) in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 7th ed. Ed. M. H. Abrams et al. (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2000), 2:238–251.

[28] ‘Áttételesség.’ Defined similarly by Babits.

[29] c.f. Mark Schorer, “Technique as Discovery,” (1948) in The World We Imagine. Selected Essays by Mark Schorer (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1968), 3–23.

[30] qtd. in Graham Martin, “John Montague, Seamus Heaney and the Irish Past” in The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. 8. The Present, ed. Boris Ford (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1983), 389

[31] Unfortunately, at the present moment, I have no source to cite; but both Kaiser and A. Potebnja suggested that words have a different function in artistic texts.

[32] qtd. by Éva Babits.

[33] ‘Verbális és megélt értékrend’ in Babits’s terms.

[34] ‘pregnánsság’ in Hungarian. My English term is probably not the correct translation.

[35] The image represents three capital letters: I, T, A.

[36] The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 7th ed. Ed. M. H. Abrams et al. (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2000), 2:2937.

[37] The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 7th ed. Ed. M. H. Abrams et al. (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2000), 2:1345.

[38] M. H. Abrams, “Orientation of Critical Theories,” (1953) in 20th Century Literary Criticism: A Reader. Ed. David Lodge. (London: Longman, 1972), 1–26.

[39] Mark Turner, The Study of English in the Age of Cognitive Science. (Princeton:Princeton Univ. Press, 1991), 19.

[40] Csúri, Károly, Lehetséges világok. Tanulmányok az irodalmi mûértelmezés témakörébõl. (Budapest: Tankönyvkiadó, 1987), 7–40.

[41] John Fizer, Alexander A. Potebnja’s Psycholinguistic Theory of Literature: A Metacritical Inquiry. (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1988), 18.

[42] Potebnja, 23.

[43] Potebnja, 40.

[44] Potebnja, 31.

[45] see footnote 10 in Potebnja, 31.

[46] Potebnja, 27, 136.

[47] Potebnja, 23.