Maybe the best reading leads us to struggle with ourselves. Jennifer Audette writes about the messiness of learning to love the metafiction of Ben Lerner for the Fiction Writer’s Review:
But then again, why do I need the narrator to experience wonder and emotions the way I think he should, the way I want him to? What does my reaction to all this say about me as a reader, as a person? Isn’t there a part of me that understands the dissociations the narrator experiences? Isn’t there a part of me that fights off the same self-consciousness about belonging to co-op grocery stores? Don’t I overthink what art is and isn’t and how I should or shouldn’t respond to it; isn’t that what I’m doing right now? Don’t I experience a similar paralysis and apathy in the face of climate change, income inequality and the inevitability of death? Am I angry at Ben Lerner and his book or am I angry at me?