Lucky for me, i'm reading The Romantic Movement : Sex, Shopping, and the Novel
by Alain De Botton at the moment. Here's a flagrant snip from page 257:
To adapt Wittgenstein, the limits of others' understanding of ourselves marks the limits of our world. We cannot help but exist within the parameters of others' perceptions - they allow us to be funny by their understanding of our humour, they allow us to be intelligent by their own intelligence, their generosity allows us to be generous, their irony to be ironic. Character operates like a language that requires both reader and writer. Shakespeare is a jumble of nonsense to a class of seven-year-olds, and as long as he is only read by seven-year-olds, he cannot be appreciated for anything beyond that which a seven-year-old could understand - much as Alice's possibilities could stretch only as far as her lover's empathy.
Chew on that, suckah!