As both a reader and a writer, it is what lies beneath that calls me. The sub of subtext, you might say. But I don’t like to think about it. I like to discover it by feel, again, both as reader and writer. As a reader, when a writer’s consciousness of his or her own subtext is clear to me, I am disappointed. As a writer, an initial or early awareness of my own subtext (through the first draft or two, that is) can easily kill my desire to write what I’m working on. As a human being, what I seek is understanding, discovery, dawning, pulling together the preternatural/psychic/beyond-my-grasp puzzle, so a too-soon or too-obvious or too-deliberate or too-self-conscious display of subtext, a large insinuation seems to rob me of what I most desire in a work, either as one who partakes of or one who creates that work, which is to feel it, little by little, creeping along until it is finally here in my hands, though still threatening elusiveness.
Second or third time through, though, it’s a whole different story. Hit me over the head with the second time, if you must.