What books am I talking about? I can’t even give a specific example of such a work without disqualifying it by invoking it here; no matter what I’d choose, it would pigeonhole me somehow and turn the book into a signifier of my identity and status. My fantasy of the literary text is a book that can efface itself for the right people. But that’s still a description of an ideal disposition toward works that masquerades as a description of the works themselves. The literary never really refers to books but to readers. The reader who purports to be beyond the literary may be the most literary of all, claiming the perfectly camouflaged cultural capital whose value therefore can’t be questioned.
This reminds me of Lars Iyers’ “Nude in Your Hot Tub, Facing the Abyss (A Literary Manifesto After theEnd of Literature and Manifestos).”