The Belles-lettres style has three varieties (sub styles):
1. The language of poetry, or verse;
2. Emotive prose or the language of fiction;
3. The language of drama.
These varieties have some common features which make up the foundation of the belles-lettres style. At the same time each has some individuality, which makes it different from the other two. The common features are:
1. A double function, which is called aesthetico-cognitive. The first object of the belles-lettres style is to present some idea for considerations, to suggest a possible interpretation of a phenomenon of life and force the reader to see the view-point of the writer. This is the cognitive function. The second object is to appeal to the feelings of the reader. This is the aesthetic function.
2. Certain indispensable (совершенно необходимый) linguistic features, such as:
(a) Genuine (not trite) imagery, achieved by the use of genuine stylistic devices;
(b) The use of words in contextual meaning;
(c) The introduction of the typical features of colloquial style to a full degree in plays, a lesser degree in emotive prose and a slight degree, if any, in poetry;
(d) Vocabulary reflecting the author's personal evaluation of things or phenomena;
(e) A peculiar individual selection of vocabulary and syntax. Individuality in selecting language means, extremely apparent in poetic style, is a little less apparent in emotive prose and the drama.
The language of poetry, or verse;
The language of poetry is characterized by:
1) An orderly form, which is based on the phonetic arrangement of the utterance. Rhythm and rhyme are the properties which make poetry different from emotive prose and the drama.
2) Rich imagery.
3) Emotional coloring. The emotional element is characteristic of the belles-lettres style in general, but poetry has it in full measure due to the great number of emotionally colored words and the rhythmic arrangement of verse.
4) Choice of vocabulary - neutral, poetic, archaic.