Each reader brings his/her experiences to the page. From this perspective, the text is interpreted, especially if one does not have knowledge of another or older culture. For instance, there are young women of America who find it difficult to understand how Kate Chopin's main character of "The Story of an Hour" has allowed herself to be so repressed in her marriage, for they are unknowledgeable of the Victorian Age and the femme covert laws of that time.
Certainly, readers who approach the narratives of foreign writers need some background in that writer's culture before they can better comprehend the subtleties of the text. By the same token, there is always the human experience in any narrative that is universally understood.