"After all, the world is not a stage -- not to me: nor a theatre: nor a show-house of any sort. And art, especially novels, are not little theatres where the reader sits aloft and watches... and sighs, commiserates, condones and smiles. That's what you want a book to be: because it leaves you so safe and superior, with your two-dollar ticket to the show. And that's what my books are not and never will be. Whoever reads me will be in the thick of the scrimmage, and if he doesn't like it -- if he wants a safe seat in the audience -- let him read someone else."
I love the idea of a book drawing you into the middle of its world, because thats what great books do - regardless of whether they're called classics or not, and regardless of drama. They create something, and it's new and different for each reader. My vision of the world and the characters might be entirely different from yours. The author may be guiding me, but I'm also coming to the story with my own experiences, my own perceptions. And, using those, I can lose myself in an entirely different universe for a little while, until I surface, time has passed, and I feel (maybe) like I'm coming back into reality.
The magical part is that there's such a strong experience, one that's unique but also on some level universal, squashed between two covers.