Introduction - Stylistics 1

2015.01.20 09:26:18

header In this series of articles I will be trying to discuss topics about stylistics, mainly in the sense of what it means in a context of art, but I may very well expand it into a more broad concept at a later date.

I've wanted to write such an article or series for a very long time –probably three years now– but I never had the confidence to start on it because I felt I didn't know enough about the topic. Rest assured that this impression still sits very firmly within me. Style is such an ambiguous and large topic that trying to cover its essence is bound to lead to controversy and mistakes.

To remedy this effect I will try to approach it from a more mathematical and abstract standpoint, by first defining the terminology as precisely as I can muster. We will then dive into analysing style, trying to apply the terminology to a few examples and deriving what it means. This will also include the question of what makes a style qualitatively better or worse. And finally I'll cover the topic of what is and isn't part of a style, which is something that I feel is very frequently –especially by beginners– misunderstood.

I'm writing this all in the hope of achieving two things. First, I want to gain a more clear-cut and solidified understanding of stylistics myself. By writing about it I am forcing myself to distil the information into concrete concepts, rather than being mere ideas floating about my head. Second, I hope that this is going to offer a useful toolkit and guideline for others to use for critique and analysis.

Of course, I am not willing to promise that what I'm writing will turn out to be a complete and all-encompassing theory on style, but I am at least confident enough to say that it will have enough substance to be applicable to some areas of art.

Written by shinmera