.. he does not guide us at all ..

“The comic novellist does not fulfill the basic requirement of a good realistic novel. He does not firmly guide us from the beginning to the end. He does not guide us at all, and he certainly does not guide us in one or the other direction. We must guide ourselves if we want to start somewhere and arrive at some point. Self-guidance does not orient us within the plot, but rather in our interpretation. The comic novelist, instead of guiding readers, keeps us constantly in a state of postponement. He keeps us from arriving, not at the point, since there is not one, but at a final interpretation. Through his tactics – of hesitation, repetition, playing hide and seek – the comic novel becomes what it is: an encyclopedia of all comic phenomena.”

Agnes Heller: The Comic Novel, in IMMORTAL COMEDY. THe Comic Phenomenon in Art, Literature, And Life. Oxford 2005. Seite 76.

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