First of all we have to differentiate between 'literary communication' and 'communication as a literary object' (Literarisierte Kommunikation). The former is a matter of text production and text reception within social contexts, while the latter is the aesthetic representation of communication processes by literary authors. Literary communication has been investigated mostly within the framework of an empirical psychology ofliterature (Schmidt 1980, 1982a; Groeben 1980, 1986). Communication as a literary object is a field with a long tradition of research in rhetoric and stylistics, linguistics and literary criticism, 1 and it has also been the main subject of my own books on the pragmatics of literary dialogue. 2 I shall now try to apply the theoretical framework I used there to 'literary communication'. In doing so, I believe I shall be answering a slightly more general version of the question assigned to me as my topic for the symposium.