I came across an transcript of an interview with China Miéville, one of my literary idols, the other day on weirdfictionreview.com and found the following quote from him. Click on the 'interview' link above to go read the full inteview.
"Weird tradition is to do with the sense of the numinous, whether in a horrific iteration (or, more occasionally, a kind of joyous one), as being completely embedded in the everyday, rather than an intrusion. To that extent the Weird to me is about the sense that reality is always Weird."
This rang very true to me. It is not a stretch to belive that the reality in which we find ourselves is quite truly weird. Weird is rather subjective. What is weird to you may be normal or rather humdrum to me and vice verse. In Weird fiction, however, the Weird is really weird. It viscerally jolts us into another almost incomprehensible reality. This is one of the reasons I enjoy reading Weird fiction that is really werid, to me in this reality, but not so much to the characters in that story. I enjoy being thrown into this other world/culture and trying to figure it all out right away only to be frustrated in not being able to do so. The people, things, settings, and yes monsters, are all real for those minutes or hours we focus our eyes on the printed or electronic words in front of us. We need to acclimate ourselves before tyring to understand it. We just need to enjoy the ride in the hope that the Weird will become a part of our reality.
My goal is to frustrate the reader. This is difficult becau se an author does not want to frustrate the reader too much that s/he gives up and and tosses the book out the window or deletes it from their device. I wanted to to that on more than one occassion. Frustrating the reader does not mean making the story so incomprehenible that it angers him/her. The reader does not want to be totally fulfilled, at least I don't. If he/she is, then what's the point of throwing her/him into that weird world. If everything is knowable right from the start, then it really isn't Weird, it it? Miéville addressed this 'preferred' frustration later in the same interview concerning monsters. I leave you with it so you can digest the monstrosity of it all.
"I’m tempted to say that part of the job a monster can do best is refuse to satisfy me, completely—which is good, because what I want for satisfaction is a kind of satiation, which usually translates into too much information, into overkill, into shining a light where a light has no business shining. In other words, the frustration that I feel at not understanding everything about a monster (indeed the weird, indeed anything fantastic) is both a sign that I am not fully satisfied and the only way of doing this with anything approaching success, I imagine. I want to know everything, but I don’t want that desire to be fulfilled. Unsatisfy me, frustrate me, I beg you, teratologists and others. The point is, as all my favourite writers and artists and musicians and whatever know, I cannot be trusted."