So, last night I was reading through as many interviews with Mark Z. Danielewski as I could dig up, looking for a convincing reason to give myself permission to conceptualize. Although I'm not really sure I would consider him "a writer" really. More like a creative genius who has chosen to use words for now to express himself. I could just as easily call him a director, painter or a photographer because he does all these things to your mind.
There's one particular interview in which I found some justification. It's the one in The Ledge where he's talking about THE FIFTY YEAR SWORD. http://www.the-ledge.com/flash/ledge.php?conversation=45&lan=UK He talks about pushing his own limits and the conceptual layers behind the scenes. I think I was drooling as I read. All those rich, deep, mysterious levels of meaning to uncover. MMMMMM!!
Now, when people read his work, do they really care that he used "butterfly" as a symbol of "cutting open" and "stitching together" to emphasize the main conflict of the story? Considering his success, I'd say there is definetly an audience for outside the box writing.
Presenting ideas and observations along with a story is an important part of writing for me. Feeling like the writing is a challenge is also important to me. Seeing if the reader is willing to dive in and peel back all the layers to get to the idea or observation...I am beginning to understand that is important to me, too.
Oh, and I just have to throw this in--Bret Easton Ellis (author of American Psycho) gave Mark this blurb for HOUSE OF LEAVES:
"A great novel, it renders most other fiction meaningless. One can imagine Thomas Pynchon, J.G. Ballard, Stephen King and David Foster Wallace bowing at Danielewski's feet, choking with astonishment, surprise, laughter, awe."
Can you imagine? I could die happy right then and there.