For Ploughshares, Clare Beams talks about the strange effect of reading a story in which someone reads a story:
Paintings of people looking at paintings, like this one, can make me fall into a dizzy sort of hole. Gazing at the painting to find, there, painted people gazing at a painting, suddenly I’m not quite sure where I’m actually standing, where the line between me and the painting is. It’s the same effect I get from reading about characters who are reading—an effect that fascinates me. I love the strangeness, the disorientation of finding myself echoed that way.