14th International Congress of Philosophy, Vienna, 2-9 September 1968
Roman Ingarden, Poland
Artistic Functions of Speech
The full title of this article should be: artistic functions of the products of speech in a literary work of art.
Products of speech: words, sentences, relations between sentences (Satzzusammenhänge)– create elements of two layers in a literary work of art: a phonetic formation together with phenomena, and logical units. They serve manifold artistic functions therein and can appear in different arrangements and orders. Their result is the existence of respective, aesthetically relevant qualities (ästhetisch relevanten Quälitäten) in the work. If the latter are given in the right variety and order, they constitute specific, relevant, right aesthetic values (Werte). Neither the artistic functions of the products of speech, nor the respective aesthetic values that result from them, have been satisfactorily considered, explained or analysed by literary studies in their relations, although in recent years a lively interest in the problem of values was renewed. Nevertheless, the neo-positivist legacy can still be noticed in the shape of mistrust towards values. There is a reigning tendency in strongly formalist circles to avoid aesthetically relevant qualities at all while considering the works. Many reasons are given for that. The most radical researchers assume, that there are no qualities like these, wherein the existence of values in general and the aesthetic ones especially is questioned at the same time.
The others, of course, grant that such qualities in fact appear during the reading of a work. But they believe that they are only a specific illusion on the reader’s part resulting from her emotions. They are thus deemed subjective and it is assumed that they do not belong to the literary work in which they seem to appear. They should be evaporated (abdämpfen) during the reading or at all removed and they should by no means be taken into account while considering the work, because they do nothing but deceive. The third group does not deny that these qualities succeed to appear in the literary work. Nevertheless, they do not see them as a factor that would anyhow relate to aesthetic values, and when they finally see their role in constituting values, they see them rather as emotional values, that are irrational in their essence and as such are unfit for the true scientific consideration. People are afraid that an element of vagueness and ambiguity will appear, as soon as they are concerned as a component of a work of art, and this will be read as an everyday newspaper information. Of course, there are specific theories of literary work of art, that are considered to be information about facts and according to which all aesthetically relevant values are simply redundant, like murmurs or stirs. Thus, literary works are robbed of all that is poetic and what makes them true art. Of course, the problem of artistic function of products of speech does not exist [in this case].
Under such circumstances we cannot get an a priori satisfying, ready-made study of aesthetically relevant qualities and their foundation in a literary work. Here, one should only point to a group of issues, and thus to some difficulties, that arise while analysing literary works and their substantiation, as soon as one realizes, what it is in them that goes beyond mere information (inasmuch as this word can be used here) and what makes them essentially different beings: exceptional, distinct, by which the viewer is deeply moved in light of what is admirable.
The products of speech play a double role in a work of art. First of all, they are tools that serve to realize manifold goals, and especially – a blueprint (zum Entwurf) for other elements of the work of art. Second of all, however, they are themselves elements of the work, which by their presence in it and together with its own features (Bestimmtheiten) contribute significantly to the shape of its artistic face, carrying with them some specific linguistic aesthetically relevant qualities. The capacity of a product of speech to – indirectly or directly – constitute some aesthetically relevant qualities in a work I call an artistic function of this product. If this function is effective and leads to the appearance of aesthetically positively valued qualities (ästhetisch positiv wertigen Quälitäten), and thus enables the substantiation of aesthetically positive values, I say that the respective products of speech have an artistic value.
Already the establishment of these two notions points to the fact that – while searching for these functions and values – one cannot restrict herself to considering the products of speech only or just to individual literary works like some sort of schematic products, but one has to, at the same time, search for different relevant aesthetic substantiations of this work. This means: the notion of work and the constitution of its substantiation must precede everything else in the course of an aesthetic experience. Aesthetically relevant qualities and aesthetic values are first to be seen in the research area, although they are – in their appearance – constitutively and structurally conditioned by artistic functions of products of speech (and possibly by other factors of the work). Functional relations between them and artistic functions of the products of speech and their features (Bestimmtheiten) can be understood by a researcher only when, after the constitution of the right aesthetic substantiation of the work she moves to the research attitude and tries – in an analytic conduct – to uncover these relations. And thus, they appear with bigger clarity and precision, and they succeed in building much richer correct substantiations of the same work.
The research should be equally functional, i.e. it should reveal relations and dependencies between the features of the products of speech together with their artistic functions and the aesthetically relevant qualities flowing from them. It should also be to some extent experimental in its character. In other words, one should not settle for the mere assertion that some features of the products of speech and a multitude of aesthetically relevant qualities coexist in one work, but one should also try to show that modification or change of one specific product of speech or its single trait results in a modification or change of some specific, aesthetically relevant quality in the work. Not all aesthetically relevant qualities are rooted directly in linguistic properties of the work. Some of them are carried by the phenomena of the represented world, so they stem from the products of speech only indirectly, some of them on the other hand can stem from the way in which the work is substantiated, so the foundation is in some places indeterminate. Their occurrence or lack of it can finally depend on how the other, aesthetically relevant qualities partake in the appropriate substantiation of work. Constitutive relations of the structure (Aufbauabhängigkeiten) between the aesthetically relevant qualities and the founding / formative (for them) moments of the work, relatively substantiation is thus quite complicated and often equally opaque. The presentation of constitutive relations of a specific aesthetically relevant quality of a product of speech, relatively its features, must thus be carried out very carefully and [must] take into consideration possible coexisting (mitsprechende) factors. We often settle for considering only some of them and thus we prematurely reach a positive or negative result. These – as I called them – experimental ways of finding linguistic artistic functions can be essentially facilitated by there being different editions, using which one can test the capacity of products of speech to establish aesthetically relevant qualities – just like the poet tested them.
With respect to the posed fundamental question one can distinguish the following groups of problems:
- First, one needs to ask, what artistic functions can be performed by the products of speech, relatively appear in one [and the same] literary work. Probably, there are many functions of that type and they can be performed by manifold products of speech. First of all, it is about a certain accumulation of such functions regarding which one can attempt at a systematic classification. The direct way there always leads via the consideration of singular literary works. And, of course, we do not have to consider the great works of art. Because even if in the failed works the lack of aesthetically relevant qualities can be co-dependent with some peculiarities of the products of speech present in these works; which preclude them from performing artistic functions. This research (Nachforschung) though can be facilitated by a [previously] prepared overview of possible cases, that can arise on the ground of the general theory of literary work with the help of the analysis of basic product of speech types.
- It is to be investigated, on the grounds of what features of products of speech specific artistic functions are performed. And – on the contrary – which features make it impossible. One has to consider not only the features of phonetic formation, but also the syntactic structure and other features of their logical units, e.g. practical or hypotactic structure, unequivocalness or ambiguity, unclear generality or precision.
- As soon as we achieve a systematic overview of the basic kinds of possible artistic functions of products of speech in a literary work so that the ways of further research are marked out, another issue will pop up, namely – do the functions of the other artistic functions, that are performed by non-linguistic elements of work as such, single out fundamentally or not. And so, for instance, interpersonal situations or events (actions) that appear in the presented world, carry with them some tendencies, that lead to the origin of some aesthetically valuable qualities.
It can also be ready-made opinions held in the work, where presented people and things appear in the substantiation, e.g. being very shifty or pale, or – on the contrary lively and precise, containing incredible foreshortenings or – conversely: presenting, on plain pages, common facts that have become boring. In each of these cases, the endurance of the opinion in its function to-bring-about-the-appearance is different, and thereby the presented figurativeness differs one from another in their way of being contemporary-to-the-reader and thus they achieve a different artistic way of operation. If there was no essential variety in the multitude of all linguistic and non-linguistic artistic functions, but all of them belonged to one and the same basic type – each contradictory case would produce different outlook on the problem of possible uniformities of inner structures of literary work of art – inasmuch as the belong to ars litteraria – or their possible changes. An analogous question concerns the aesthetically relevant qualities that appear in literary works. Are the qualities – as to which we can prove that they stem directly from the artistic functions, specifically different from the ones which stem from non-linguistic artistic functions in the work – or is this impossible to prove? Naturally, all these non-linguistic elements of the work itself, that turn out artistically efficient (ergiebig), in the end come from some linguistic products in the work and their features. Some aesthetically relevant qualities are indirectly connected with some of the features of the products of speech themselves (e.g. some melodies of the words, kind of verses, like in Goethe’s “Faust”, complexity but yet considerable clarity of the syntactic structure of the prose of the late Thomas Mann).
- What then is the case with the inner affinity of all these values or their qualitative variety that cannot be removed? How could their essentially diverse causation influence an aesthetically prone reader? Are the aesthetically valuable qualities appearing in the presented world somehow more emotional and thus in some proximity to an experience and to perception, and these appearing in the structures of logical units – more rational and thus more perceptible in understanding the structure?
- The next question pertains the role which the aesthetically relevant qualities that stem from the artistic functions of the speech play in the polyphony of such values of the whole substantialized work. And especially, in the two possible cases, so now both when they specifically differ from the other aesthetically relevant qualities, and when these multitude would not exist at all or did not have a founding nature. These qualities only enrich the polyphony of aesthetically relevant qualities already present in the literary work of art, or they dominate therein and leave their mark on the whole substantialized work. And maybe, in the end, it depends on the shape of a single work? So, once it would be a mere enrichment of the polyphony of relevant qualities, some other time – to domination. First of all, the variety of this role can depend on the way in which both linguistic layers in a specific work are shaped. Sometimes, these products can be very efficient in this respect, at other times though – helpless. Of course, the shape of the linguistic layer can play a special role, at other time though the shape of the linguistic units can take over. It thus seems it is impossible to answer this question a priori. Only the consideration of singular works can provide us with an insight in these complicated relations.
- Only after having answered the questions three, four and five can we see the answer to another question – the main one. It concerns the specific characteristics of the literary work of art. Against the backdrop of the works of all other arts. Of course, it is not about the question: what is the only tool for creating (Aufbauwerkzeug) and – at the same time – an element of a work of art; because in this case the clear, plainly set forth literary work of art undoubtedly opposes the works of all other arts.
Also in theatre, film and song language is only one of the elements (Aufbaumittel) of work alongside other media (Mittel). It is however about the characteristics of the final crowning achievement (Ausklang) of the entirety of aesthetically relevant qualities and the aesthetic values that constitute therein, which is present in every substantiated work of art. Let us call the final crowning achievement the aesthetic face of a substantiation (achieved in aesthetic attitude) that is faithful to the work. The question thus is: is the face of all the substantiations of literary works of art specific and essentially different from analogue substantiations of works of all other arts, or maybe no such difference appears? In other words: can literary art propose something entirely exceptional in the realm of aesthetic values, what no other art can do or is this existing variety reduced to a bigger or smaller diversification of aesthetically relevant qualities every time present in the substantiations of literary works of art, relatively to respective aesthetic values like these [that are present] in the works of other arts? Is there any autonomous and fully exceptional speech art (Sprachkunst), or maybe all the arts, using different media but with fundamentally the same result in respect of the peculiarity of the aesthetic face of each considered work, make the abundance of aesthetic values available for us, so that the differences between the arts could reduce only in the ways the works of art of respective arts provide us with an access to aesthetic values? Possible contradiction between literary works of art and the works of other arts can also be less radical, but still make the distinctiveness of literature a specific trait.
If one noticed – in the works of all other arts – that aesthetically valuable qualities (that only could appear therein) were also present there, she would conclude, that the existence of aesthetically relevant qualities is given in a literary work of art. This would be the qualities that would introduce into the work linguistic units, that are not used in other arts at all. This would be a specifically rational factor which could not be introduced into the work at all by the non-linguistic products. It could also be a peculiar way in which literary works can introduce aesthetically relevant qualities. Yet these values cannot be shown with such imagery and presence (Selbstgegenwärtigkeit), as it is possible in plastic arts and music. One would maybe wish to indicate one more difference (Unterscheidungspunkt), a third one, that would be based on the fact that some syntactic structures of a sentence, and especially higher relations between sentences can carry extraordinary structural aesthetically relevant qualities. This can be opposed by the [fact] that qualities of this type can equally be present in architecture and music and thus they create nothing specific for literature. All this should still be thoroughly examined. The road to answering the posed questions is naturally long and hard to walk. One cannot say, that literary studies or studying the works of other arts today could provide a lot of material to solve the posed problems. Scepticism and psychologically coloured relativism with respect to understanding values, and especially aesthetic values, that reigned for decades – if we restrict ourselves to the twentieth century – begins to weaken.
Nevertheless, its long-term effect is some sort of helplessness among the researchers, who do not know how to get the value research going. Instead of starting directly from understanding the values that appear in substantialized work and their founding (Fundierung) in the work, they begin to lose themselves in admittedly interesting considerations about evaluation or assessment, which do not lead to the heart of the problem.
The first step to solve this problem is – I believe – the orientation in the variety of aesthetically relevant qualities. I tried to achieve it the abovementioned Amsterdam talk about the system of these values. But this work needs to be continued. These values need to be explained via many specific examples, differentiated and brought to the visible fullness in their uniqueness – always in correlation with aesthetic values themselves, that establish them. The next step – in this special case of belles-lettres – leads to revealing the artistic functions of the products of speech, functions which we allow to practically affect us and which we co-comprehend accordingly, but which are thus not fully realized nor determined in their peculiarity. Hence, one has to show in detail, how [starting from?] them, with the help of the reader, move from (gelangen) aesthetically relevant qualities to visible facts. This, of course cannot be done in this paper. It requires many investigations of specific cases, that have to be numerous and various. But this is how the research field is outlined. In the Polish version of this paper, that has become very popular, I have performed a series of inquiries in order to explain a specific form of the problem and the way to solve it. Doing it in German is beyond my capacities, because it presupposes a perfect mastering of the language and poems. Here I can propose only a probationary analysis and I ask my readers to forgive me if I have formulated anything wrongly.
Every product of speech, word, sentence, structure of sentences is twofold. On one hand, it is a phonetic product – originally, like sound, and – derivatively – as a multitude of sounds and the phonetic phenomena supervening on them, like rhythm, tempo, melody of a sentence or a poem, etc. On the other hand, this is a logical unit, [which is] not artificially detached, like the meaning of the word or a relatively independent unit, like the sense of a sentence, or finally fully independent entirety of sense, like the full text of a literary work. Every logical unit, even the relatively independent one, is connected and structurer, e.g. every simple sentence, and all the more a complex one. Both these aspects of products of speech belong closely to each other in the natural lively speech, and especially in the literary shaped one; and thus, in a manner it is an abstraction to compare sound and sense of the speech. As a result, a change or a mere modification of the linguistic layer of a literary work leads to a more or less significant modification of logical units. Admittedly, artistic functions of products of speech (sprachlautlichen Gebilde) and phenomena are partly of such a kind that they are independent of the sense they carry but most of them results from the cooperation of sense and the product of speech (sprachlautlichen Gebildes). The first ones are in their essence mostly of musical nature and are determined via purely phonetic form of sound (lautliche Gestalt der Wortlaute), as well as by their subsequence (Aufeinanderfolge), because it is from them that the melody of the language and the rhythm flow, etc. As a result, a change of vocabulary, e.g. in a translation; or the change of order, e.g. by editing the text often leads to completely different artistic functions of the phonetic layer in the entirety of the literary work.
Other artistic functions of the products of speech can be examined only by the fuller consideration of the both sides of the products and they are subject to change as soon as any of the sides is altered. A close relationship of the meaning of a word with its sound in a living speech comes thus to such an expression (Ausdruck), that often in the sound there appears (zur Erscheinung gelangt) a secondary, outer-phonetic character, which often, but not always contains some emotional trait (Anstrich). This is why we have words [that are] caddish, inappropriate, crude, offensive, sharp, insults and abuses, and on the other hand – nice, delicate, pleasant, lively, juicy and finally matt, bland, such as are present in almost every strict scientific terminology. All the products which application in the literary work is meaningful. While reading the literary work of art, one has not only to consider their both sides at once, but also to capture their phonetic function in its phonetic and outer-phonetic characteristics as well as in its expressive function. Because only then the artistic functions performed by them are visible and true, effectively implemented. These phonetic phenomena were often investigated in the theory of poetry, but usually not while comprehending their artistic capacities. Moreover, their functional relationship with aesthetically valent qualities was not demonstrated.
Unfortunately, all these non-phonetic features of the of phonetic products cannot be taken into consideration in print and thus are often overlooked. Who does not know the spoken language of a work of art or is not at least able to co-comprehend it during the lecture, [in the act] of imaginary hearing, she will find the work impenetrable. The lack, that appears here, is not restricted to the dropping out of the phonetic layer. The full comprehension of this layer with all the features of lively speech contained within it and its way of application in a specific work is at the same time indispensable for the right and creative understanding of the work’s sense. One sentence can– it is literal sense – be treated as such, can be pronounced with a different tone, e.g. with big indignation or with a hardly controllable anger, or with cold derision, or – finally – quite peacefully. And, in every case, we achieve through it a different interpersonal situation, what could equally happen by preserving the same words as well as by using different words and phrases.
If the notion of all these changes of tone, speech (Rede) is missing, then the correct, full understanding of the sense of spoken sentence will be highly hindered or at all made impossible. And so, these peculiarities (Einzelheiten) of the phonetic structure play an important role in the artistic shape of the presented world and thus themselves perform an artistic function.
Also, these musical traits in the phonetic layer of the subsequent sentences, e.g. the melody of a sentence characteristic for a given language (Sprache) – often play an important role in the correct and full understanding of a sentence. The usage of an inappropriate intonation often makes it difficult to understand the speech (Rede). Also, the musical peculiarities facilitate the determination of the sense of the sentence. The characterization of the phonetic layer of the work using many outer-phonetic features belongs – anyway – to artistic form of the language of the work of art and lets it perform important artistic functions (not mentioned here).
This happens – as we know – mostly in the versed poetry, where both – the melody of the verse, as well as the disclosure of various emotional moments (caused by it), are essentially co-determining for their sense content. In artistically well-built poems they are shaped according to this content and the accordance in which they are with it, is audible, tangible and aesthetically valent. What is interesting, we deal with this also in the so-called free verse poetry, where the verse as well serves to shape and adequately express the sense. The verse that is artistically shaped as the free one is often more effective in its artistic function that the ones with strict, regular rhythm.
All this seems very familiar, so I do not have to go deeper into it here, although after having looked closely, on the ground of pure lyric many different and highly efficient artistic functions of the phonetic side of speech are hidden, and they should see the daylight. With my relatively limited knowledge of German it is hard for me not only to conceive them correctly, but also to conceptualize them adequately. This is why I need to give up on it here, although German lyric seems to be very instructive in this respect.
I would however point to some analogous problems in literary prose. Yet, many peculiarities of the phonetic side partake in the shape of its overall character. There is a special free rhythm and a melody of prose texts. Its more or less visible and outstanding character of specific melodiousness plays an important role in the shape of the whole work. It is different in various works and very hard to describe in its uniqueness, but on careful reading it is directly conceivable and it can be judged / evaluated in its artistic function. Sometimes the prose of a work does not possess any outstanding rhythm or melody, which clearly is not without an artistic character. Two examples from R. M. Rilke can be helpful here.
Rast. Gast sein einmal. Nicht immer selbst seine Wünsche bewirten mit kärglicher Kost. Nicht immer feindlich nach allem fassen: einmal sich alles geschehen lassen und wissen: was geschieht ist gut. Auch der Mut muss einmal sich strecken lassen und sich im Saume seidender Decken in sich selber überschlagen. Nicht immer Soldat sein. Einmal die Locken offen tragen und den weiten offenen Kragen und in seidenden Sesseln sitzen und bis in die Fingerspitzen so: nach dem Bad sein. Und wieder erst lernen was Frauen sind. Und wie die weissen tun und blauen sind; was für die Hände sie haben, wie sie ihr Lachen singen, wenn blonde Knaben die schönen Schaalen bringen, von saftigen Früchten schwer.
Rest! To be a guest for once. Not always oneself to supply one’s wishes with scanty fare. Not always to seize things, enemy-like; for once to let things happen to one and to know: what happens is good. Courage too must stretch out for once and at the hem of silken covers turn over on itself. Not always to be a soldier. For once to wear one’s hair loose and the broad open collar and to sit upon silken settles and be to the very fingertips as … after the bath. And to begin again learning what women are. And how the white ones do and how the blue ones are; what sorts of hands they have, how they sing their laughter, when blond boys bring the beautiful bowls weighted with juice-laden fruits.
M.D. Herter Norton
And now, another example:
Die Turmstube ist dunkel.
Aber sie leuchten sich ins Gesicht mit ihrem Lächeln. Sie tasten vor sich her wie Blinde und finden den Anderen wie eine Tür. Fast wie Kinder, die sich vor der Nacht ängstigen, drängen sie sich in einander ein. Und doch fürchten sie sich nicht. Da ist nichts, was gegen sie wäre: kein Gestern, kein Morgen, denn die Zeit ist eingestürzt. Und sie blühen aus ihren Trümmern.
Er fragt nicht: „Dein Gemahl?“
Sie fragt nicht: „Dein Name?“
Sie haben sich ja gefunden, um einander neues Geschlecht zu sein. Sie werden sich hundert neue Namen geben und einander alle wieder abnehmen, leise, wie man ein Ohrring abnimmt …
The tower room is dark.
But they light each other’s faces with their smiles. They grope before them like blind people and find each the other as they would a door. Almost like children who dread the night, they press close into each other. And yet they are not afraid. There is nothing that might be against them: no yesterday, no morrow; for time is shattered. And they flower from its ruins.
He does not ask: “Your husband?”
She does not ask: “Your name?”
For indeed they have found each other, to be unto themselves a new generation.
They will give each other a hundred new names and take them all off again, gently, as one takes an ear-ring off.
M.D. Herter Norton
One cannot say, that the irregular appearence (Auftauchen) of rhymes in the first fragment, as well as the melodiousness clearly typical for the poem performer a function of direct presenting some details of events; like the ones in the fragment that was not presented “Alls Mahl beganns. Und ist ein Fest geworden, kaum weiss man wie …” (“It began as a supper. And became a feast, one hardly knows how”). Despite it all, this melodiousness leads to the mood of relaxation ease, as well as the satisfaction flowing from them, to the mood, that corresponds to the rest after an effort caused by engaging all the powers, which however cannot be named. Neither the musical character of speech, nor the happy mood of relaxation are aesthetically valuable for each other (valent). But their noticeable relation and at the same time the contrast of this emotional atmosphere with the mood of previous fragments build up [something] that can be called an aesthetically valuable (valente) quality. And the capacity of speech to evoke such a mood and to intensify it by the musical form, and to lead to the phenomenon of harmony – and this is its artistic function and power. The second fragment lacks such musicality and it also lacks rhymes plaited in the structure of sentences. All here is said as if in a whisper. There are no accents in the sentences, as if nothing wanted to disturb the happiness of two people that have found each other, realized in silence and total darkness.
Maybe only in the words: “For indeed they have found each other” lies an emotional accent of delight, but also this is simple, as if the whole attention of the reader concentrated on the being together of these two people in love and tried to avoid every distraction. Anyway, this is the artistic function of the simplicity of speech, its discrete way of telling (stories), that is remained unnoticed to some extent and did not introduce any of its factors into the entirety of the work. Of course, it is not possible to entirely remove the presence of speech, because it is indispensable to show, what is really important in this fragment. The variety of the functions of speech is clearly visible, when one compares the second fragment with the first one, in which the cooperation and coexistence of speech in the entirety of work is clearly noticeable and supplements the entirety essentially.
This [is] just an experiment. Naturally, the multitude of phenomena and artistic functions, that are connected with the shape of phonetic layer of the products of speech, is very rich and cannot be pointed to – for the first sight – in its richness and artistic importance. Of course, all these cases must be experienced and then also analysed in the tightest connection to the sense of respective products of speech, every time considering the abovementioned aesthetically relevant qualities. The products of speech in their sense content are no less manifold and artistically efficient. But this can only be mentioned here and must be passed on to further consideration. My aim was only to excite interest in all these complicated and often difficult problems. I can only express my conviction that only via an extensive study of all these problems can we prepare ourselves to investigate the main problem of literary studies: the problem of values.
 In my paper “The question of a system of aesthetically relevant qualities (Quälitäten)” (Actes du Cinquième Congrès d’Estéthique, Amsterdam 1964, pp. 448-456) I tried to present a list of these qualities and expose their role in the structure of a work of art. The full text of this talk will soon be printed in my book “Ways towards justification of the objectivity of values (Werte)”.
 See Roman Ingarden, Artistic and aesthetic values, [in:] The British Journal of Aesthetics, vol. 4, no. 3 (1964), pp. 198-213.
 We are often inclined, by the phenomenal, outer-phonetic aspects of some sounds (Wortlaute), at once to speak about the phenomena of expression, about the so-called expression. The latter word is often used in a very broad and ambiguous sense. It should be narrowed down to the cases that concern expressing experiences and the states of the speaker’s soul. Then, the function of bringing-to-expression (Zum-Ausdruck-Bringens) can be served also by singular words (where these words – in reality – create a condensed form of a sentence). Later, however, the sounds of these words gain a further, outer-phonetic aspect, that is related not to the sense of the word, but with the speaker’s mood and the interpersonal situation. It is not sound that serves this function, but rather the tone of speaking and it should not be confused with the abovementioned, outer-phonetic aspect of sound.
 This is how we broaden the initially derived notion of artistic function of the products of speech to [cover] cases where they serve to construct other elements of the work of art itself, which themselves do not necessarily need to be aesthetically relevant qualities. I believe nevertheless, that this enhancement is entitled, because this artistic function of speech is not communicative, but creative.
 See R. M. Rilke, Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke / The lay of love and death of cornet Christoph Rilke. See also the fragment that starts with words: “Alls Mahl beganns. Und ist ein Fest geworden” … / “It began as a supper. And became a feast …”. This prose evolves later on into a real verse.
Reiner Maria Rilke, Sämtliche Werke, Bd. 1, hsg. vom Rilke-Archiv in Verbindung mit Ruth Sieber-Rilke, besorgt durch Ernst Zimm, Susel Verlag, 1960, p. 242. Handwritten address – transl. note.