I was a little confused by this essay over at the NYRB which seems to argue against the idea that readers can understand conflicts and ideas in texts. Parks might only mean to show how singular many read novels but it strikes me as an argument for delight in tiny, insignificant things. I read for a mixture of pleasure and the love of analysis (read: thinking) rather than escapism or humor. Thus if the local settings and dialogues in a work don’t play within the patterned reality a piece sets forth why bother? Parks seems to misunderstand why certain works are meritorious.