All literature can be understood as text; it can be interpreted, but not all literature asks to be. Text describes a literary work as it moves within and between cultures; it implies interpretation and the readers’ active participation. To use the term text is to make assumptions that are not universal. While literature can bridge the many cultures that create and read it, it can also be confined to a specific frame within its own culture. It can resist bridging, just as it resists independent interpretation. Literature as performance, as an example, is intended for one time and one place. Performance looks at the literary work inside its intended environment. The meaning of the work is predicated by the occasion and conventions of its reading; the audience is asked not to insinuate its own interpretation but to participate in the one provided. Performance can be a physical realization of text in time and space; and, even when an actual performance does not take place, the term suggests an important way of reading.