The Literary Work and Its Concretization in Roman Ingarden’s Aesthetics

  • Yushiro Takei
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 17)


The theme of this paper is the relationship between the structure of the literary work and its concretization or between the work and its aesthetic objectivity. This is the core of the noted Polish philosopher Roman Ingarden’s theory of art as well as of his aesthetics. One of his greatest achievements consists in not merely analyzing the literary work of art but also in investigating it on the premise that the reader can concretize the work. It is true that the work is primary, but the reader is not one who receives or perceives it merely passively. That is, the reader does not merely trace and follow the original work; in other words, he does not content himself with simply the second brew of tea. Rather, the reader can creatively and imaginatively read it in his fantasy. The work must possess a structure of a kind which enables the reader to read it in that way. On the other hand, the reader must, in turn, possess a structure of reading of a kind which makes him establish aesthetic objectivity. However exellent the work may be, it does not become what I may term a “work-art,” unless the reader engages himself with it. The literary work as what I may term a “work-thing” can become a “work- art” only when it can be concretized by the reader. This matter is crucial. In other words, the work already premises concretization by the reader. In a sense the work is only a serviceable tool by which the reader can establish an aesthetic objectivity to which aesthetic value can be attributed. Consequently, an outstanding literary work is like an assistant who enables the reader to become absorbed in a new value world being produced by the author. The work that enables the reader to take an aesthetic attitude toward it possesses an artistic power which acts on the reader. By accepting this power the reader can establish an aesthetic objectivity. As a result of this, the reader also can become a co-creator of values together with the author. We shall explain the reasons why this is so by describing Figure 1.


Literary Work Intentional Objectivity Fairy Tale Potential Element Intentional Product 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yushiro Takei

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations