The article analyzes the way in which subjective elements gradually penetrate the Naturalist picture of reality in the works of Josef K. Slejhar (1864-1914). It also describes the manifestations of the gradual intensification of these elements in his style. The article attempts to demonstrate how meanings are structured in connection with stylistic elements. The authoress' research has led her to two conclusions. The first is that the signs of Expressionist style, admittedly ambiguous and diverse, are visible in Slejhar's peculiarly subjective stylization of depicted reality. An integral part of this is defining his judgement as it is manifested in all elements of the text. The second conclusion is that if one chooses an aesthetic code other than the Naturalist, then Slejhar's clear tendency to schematize, to construct and deform the picture of reality, and to seek precision of expression can be understood as a distinctive effort to develop a literary style of his own to convey his own cheerless experience of life. The dreadful ideas that the reality surrounding us is degenerating into chaos, that existing models of life are in decay, and that recognized values are irrevocably disappearing, points to the Expressionist experience, integral parts of which are doubts about the point of human existence and the search for that point in an otherworldly order. Slejhar's orientation to meanings impercetable by the senses or reason also comports with the Expressionist stylistic intention, as do the blurring of the boundary between reality and the irrational (which Naturalism did not dare to cross) and unignorable signals of his orientation to the lower levels of the human psyche. Other typically Expressionist features of his work are the acute perception of opposites and the absolutization of the phenomena of evil and love, which even assumes mystical forms. Stating that Slejhar's fiction comports with that of the pre-Great War Expressionists is justified owing to the kind of author he was - namely, one who expressed his experience of life with striking emotion and profound pessimism.