A story is story-producing. . . . No single story can ever explain itself: this enigma at the heart of story is itself a story. Stories produce offspring, genetic splinters of themselves, hapless embodiments of their original inability to tell the whole tale.
. . stories are dynamic combinations of surplus and disappointment; in a way, the surplus is the exquisite disappointment. A story is endless, begun and ended not by its own logic but by the coercive form of the storyteller; the pure surplus of life trying to get beyond the death which authorial form imposes.
James Wood, Serious Noticing, in The Nearest Thing to Life