Here’s a podcast featuring an interview with Ander Monson, in which he discusses Twin Peaks, book design, and Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, among other things. Talking about the graphic elements of Other Electricities:
I had originally composed this book in Pagemaker….It’s really sad now that you don’t see more books with these visual elements. Now we have all the graphic novels happening, and I think that’s a good influence on the publishing world. But even when I was trying to sell this book, I was trying to find an agent for it, and I got letters back that said, “Dude, there’s graphics in here, there’s no way I’m going to be able to sell it,” and I wanted to respond, “Have you seen what people are buying? I mean, they’re buying Chris Ware!”
And about the lack of graphic elements in modern fiction:
My guess is that it has a lot to do with the workshop model in MFA programs. Which, pretty much forbids that you have any kind of graphical element, you have to turn your stories in, in double-spaced, regular type….But I think it also has to do with the production model of traditional publishing, where it has not been reasonable for most writers to include graphic elements. We’ve only had Pagemaker for 5-10 years. So, I’ve got this pet theory that writers, now that the technology is more and more transparent, we’re going to have writers who are able to actually do good things with visual elements in ways that they weren’t able to before.