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“Writing, when properly managed (as you may be sure I think mine is) is but a different name for conversation. As no one, who knows what he is about in good company, would venture to talk all; – so no author who understands the just boundaries of decorum and good-breeding, would presume to think all: The truest respect which you can pay to the reader’s understanding, is to halve this matter amicably, and leave him something to imagine, in his turn, as well as yourself. For my own part, I am eternally paying him complements of this kind, and do all that lies in my power to keep his imagination as busy as my own.”

(Laurence Sterne, Introduction to Vol 2, Chapter 11, The life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman)

So, back in 1759, Sterne was already well aware of the competing roles of the reader and the writer within any good work of literature.