From Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart:
“Perhaps there’s another, much larger story behind the printed one, a story that changes just as our own world does. And the letters on the page tell us only as much as we’d see peering through a keyhole. Perhaps the story in the book is just the lid on a pan: It always stays the same, but underneath there’s a whole world that goes on—developing and changing like our own world” (147).
[Note]: Funke brings to life a literary fantasy in her Inkheart series, and the above quote comes from the first book in her trilogy aimed at children (but more than appropriate for all ages). It is also metafictional down to the core. A basic element of metafiction is to study the way stories influence our perception of reality, including the metaphor that the world is like “a book” in which people hold “roles.”
The fictional story that the characters seek out in Inkheart has its own narrative that readers know very well, but the point is that there are always more stories taking place in addition to that narrative. Even without reading that story all the way through, the protagonists in Funke’s story create interpretations of and find their lives touched in numerous ways by its characters and themes.