There is a path that emphasizes the intrinsic characteristics of a set of words, yet that path is not achievable unless something else acts outside, an identity endowed with recognizability, both psychological and social. There are two opposites: the reader as a function of the work; and the reader as the one who, alone, allows the work to be activated in the right way. This essay does no more than try to resolve this juxtaposition. Today's appearance of the dual tension in play has taken shape in the long era that we call modernity, of which, today, we can better grasp certain characteristics. For almost three centuries we have had to remain within that scope, perhaps taking a stand for one of the two sides - that of the reader, in our case - yet always knowing that the conceptual horizon is that. A horizon that is unstable, and that, precisely for this reason, needs definitions that are as clear as possible.