In his 1978 essay On Difficulty, George Steiner examines four distinct types of difficulty that a reader may encounter in a literary text: contingent (reader may be unfamiliar with historical references and language); modal (reader’s sensibilities may not jibe with the attitude or mindset of the text); tactical (the author is willfully obscure or seeks to detonate our accepted understanding of the text); and ontological (the author breaks the “contract of intelligibility” with the reader and produces a text that resists rational understanding, as in the tortured post-Holocaust poems of Paul Dechene Celan).

Steiner failed to foresee that there would arise a fifth type of difficulty, which can only be demonstrated with this picture:

1978 was a long, long time before internet fanfic.