Literature Without Style: “Style is the transformation the writer imposes on reality,” Proust tells us. We know what he means, perhaps, but the claim hardly helps us describe how a style is created or how it achieves its effects. In fact I can think of no adequate definition of style, if only because it is always diffuse throughout a text. It cannot be pinned down or wrapped up. All the same, we know at once when style is present, especially when it is extreme.”