but the numbness is new?

Taken together, the titles in the notebook testify to a great and fundamental confidence in bourgeois culture. I do not ever remember asking myself whether I should go beyond Kafka, Frisch, Johnson, Bachmann, and Lenz, and read experimental literature, literature in which I did not recognise the story or like any of the characters. To me it was obvious that experimental literature was experimenting with the reader, and Hanna didn’t need that and neither did I.

– Bernhard Schlink, The Reader, trans. Carol Brown Janeway, Phoenix, London, 1997, p. 183