Stylistics of the author and of the reader.

The notions of encoding and decoding.

Decoding stylistics is the most recent trend in stylistic research that employs theoretical findings in such areas of science as information theory, psychology, statistical studies in combination with linguistics, literary theory, history of art, literary criticism, etc.

Decoding stylistics makes an attempt to regard the esthetic value of a text based on the interaction of specific textual elements, stylistic devices and compositional structure in delivering the author's message. Decoding stylistics helps the reader in his or her understanding of a literary work by explaining or decoding the information that may be hidden from immediate view in specific allusions, cultural or political parallels, peculiar use of irony or euphemy, etc.

The term 'decoding stylistics' came from the application of the theory of information to linguistics by such authors as M. Riffatrre, R. Jacobson, P. Guiraud, F. Danes, Y. Lotman, I. V. Arnold and others. The writer receives diverse information from the outside world. Some of it becomes a source for his creative work. He processes this information and recreates it in his own esthetic images that become a vehicle to pass his vision to the addressee, his readers.

The process of internalizing of the outside information and translating it into his imagery is called 'encoding'. To encode certain information an author resorts to certain meaningful units that are organized according to certain rules. The salient feature of this information encoded by the author is called the message. The process of encoding will only make any sense if besides the encoder who sends the information it includes the recipient or the addressee who in this case is the reader. The reader is supposed to decode the information contained in the text of a literary work. The message encoded and sent may differ from the message received after decoding. The reader may complain that he couldn't understand what the author wanted to say, while the author may resent being misinterpreted.

A good illustration of the problem of mutual understanding is provided in M. Tsvetaeva's essay Poets on Critics. She maintains that reading is co-creative work on the part of the reader if he wants to understand and enjoy a work of art. Reading is not so much a hobby done at leisure as solving a kind of puzzle... So if the reader has no imagination no book stands a chance. From the reader's point of view the important thing is not what the author wanted to say but what he managed to convey in the text of his work. Decoding stylistics deals with the notions of stylistics of the author and stylistics of the reader.



The style of official documents | Essential concepts of decoding stylistic analysis and types of foregrounding

Affixation and its expressiveness | The interaction of adjacent sentences. | A. Types of rhyme. | The notion of style in functional stylistics | Correlation of style, norm and function in the language | Scientific Prose Style. | Familiar colloquial style. | Literary colloquial style | Familiar colloquial style | Publicist (media) style |

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