Wednesday, February 17, 2016

On "The Reader" by Robert Coover (1473 words) ****

Here is a fairly standard piece of metafiction for Robert Coover. It is about a writer who creates a reader but who keeps finding his story interrupted by other readers and writers and events. Here the "real" and the imagined keep colliding, as if fantasy cannot ever be fully consummated, just like in life--only this isn't life--this is a story. I'm reminded a bit of the popularity of erotic fiction. Could it be that writers of such material are living fantasies in their imagination that they in turn pass along to readers? And yet, plots of fiction demand conflict--disappointment and trouble keeping us from the ultimate denoument, until the very end. And the readers, like the writers, are often lonely people whose real-life personas would never match those of the stories they are reading/writing. Read the story here at Conjunctions.

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