I'm writing an English rendition of a Farsi passage. There's a word I'm hunting for which means methods of literary styles of writing.

I came across with the word "system" in a "Farsi to English Dictionary", which in my opinion fits the passage.

I checked some dictionaries for special meanings of system in literature and found nothing. Is the word used in literature with an especial meaning? Are there any other meaning used in literature?

  • Can you give some examples of what you mean by "method"? The Socratic method comes to mind (and the Palmer method of teaching penmanship), but I need a slightly better grasp of what you're looking for.
    – MT_Head
    Jun 19, 2011 at 19:28
  • I mean the words, the order and the grammatical preference that a write has for writing a passage.
    – Manoochehr
    Jun 19, 2011 at 19:32
  • 5
    I think I'd go with "style", then. It's a word that gets used in far too many different senses and contexts, but it seems to fit here.
    – MT_Head
    Jun 19, 2011 at 19:33
  • Nice. Any comments on system?
    – Manoochehr
    Jun 19, 2011 at 19:37
  • 4
    Reading that second passage, I was torn between the desire to go to sleep, or to throw something sharp and heavy at the author.
    – MT_Head
    Jun 19, 2011 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


I think I'd go with style. It's a word that gets used in far too many different senses and contexts, but it seems to fit here.

Regarding system, I found these references:

Forms in Literary Systems:

If a literary system is the environment in which a piece of text comes into being, then literary forms are the building blocks of that environment. These forms are idiomatic ways of writing, authorial tricks that have built up over the years and codified themselves into common practice, tools with which to make meaning. Taken in aggregate, they form a system of rhetoric, a literary system.

and, from Poetics Today vol. 11 no.1, Spring 1990, the following sample of horrifying academese:

The "Literary System"

1. The Extension of the "Literary System"
Admittedly, the term "system" is tricky because of its so many uses. When we talk about "the system of literature" (or the "literary system"), one may easily be misled by the vernacular use of "system" in such expressions like "the political system," which vaguely denotes "the assumed complex of political activities." The use of this term in such current expressions is clearly a-theoretical: no commitment is made thereby to any specific theoretical approach towards investigating this "system." In polysystem theory, however, the term is already a commitment to the concept of "system" in (dynamic) functionalism, i.e., the network of relations that can be hypothesized for a certain set of assumed observables ("occurrences"/"phenomena").

I consider that passage a clear demonstration of the difference between "poetics" and "poetic". Also a crime against language.

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