Unit 5. Stasis & Dynamism

Stasis & dynamis

A literary text consists of at least two parts: a description and a reflection. In other words, a literary text must be both descriptive and reflexive. These two elements of the text reflect life, existence and the essence of being.


People watch. And listen. And smell. And feel.

These are all impressions.

They are all “external” from the point of comprehension and are referred to as our empirical, sensuous cognition. We see what is in our environment, and hear, and smell, and feel, and so on.

When we relate to this level of reality within a text, we do so descriptively. We describe what is. In a bag. In a room. In a city. However, the reader must relate to the descriptive, narrative level that is being described. We reflect on what is being described. This is a special privilege that we have as humans. We are reflexive, and we have certain ways in which this reflexivity can be expressed.

One of these ways is through language.

When we work with a literary text, it not only the authors own reflections which must be expressed. It is also the narrator, the protagonist, etc. In order to produce a quality literary text it is therefore vital that we know who our characters are. It must be known how they think and how their reality must seem through their own eyes and how they reflect on it.

We will now focus on the two basic elements of a text: description and reflection.


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