Through serendipity (this question led me to Wikipedia article about Ian Watt) I found that that the Russian literary theorist Mikhael Bakhtin is supposed to have written that certain genres with flat plots and characters
can literally be read front to back, or back to front, with no significant difference in effect.
Note that the wording is from Wikipedia (or from Ian Watt?): it is not in quotation marks and no source is given. The Wikipedia article about Mikhail Bakhtin does not mention this statement. So which of Bakhtin's publications is the source of this statement?