Abstract Proper names are unique linguistic signs, symbols, which are the key to interpreting texts and understanding artistic images. While creating the onomastic frame of the work of literature, they perform an important text-forming function. Along with the aesthetic function, it determines the significance of proper names in the canvas of any creation: an intense addition of meanings due to the ability of the name to quantize - the concentration of a considerable amount of information in an inconsiderable fragment - leads to the fact that onomastic units encode the content of a significant part of the work in their meaning, becoming "unconditional", irreplaceable copyright mark. The reason for this lies in both the grammatical and pragmatic nature of names. Being a concentrated expression of cultural realities, proper names "bombard" the recipient with a flow of aesthetic information filtered through the prism of the author's worldview. As a result, there comes moment when the reader / viewer goes from purely emotional perception to comprehension, “exchanges feelings for thoughts” (G.A. Tovstonogov). However, the complete comprehension of the literary work also depends on the onomastic competence of the reader/viewer, who perceives the images according to his or her creative abilities of the interpreter. Besides, the perception of linguistic and extralinguistic content in the semantics of a proper name by an “idiolect” linguistic personality also depends on such factors as age, profession, social status, linguistic intuition, the level of thesaurus formation, and the degree of erudition. All this becomes an important condition for adequate perception and interpretation of a proper name - a literary work (or work of art), which means that it can lead the reader / viewer to surprising discoveries.
Keywords: literary onomastics, proper name, a text-forming function, text, interpretation of the text, onomastic competence, author - reader, artistic image