Anis Shivani in the Huffington Post:
I have no audience of actual contemporary readers in mind when I write anything, fiction, poetry, or criticism. I suppose if there is an abstract audience in mind it is an audience of the future, distant in time but not too distant, perhaps a hundred years away, when there might still be enough similarity with the present that they would be able to understand what I'm saying but not so distant that they can't comprehend what it's all about.
I'm not saying that this specific audience is what I always have in mind, but if pressed for an answer about audience, perhaps something like this would be my guess. I write inspired by writers I hold in high regard, primarily the high modernists, so you could say that they are my demanding audience: Am I keeping faith with the tradition? Can I hold my head high against the effort they've already made? I think if I wrote with any actual present audience in mind, whether one person or a larger number, I would be instantly lost, my writing would lose all value.
Writing for an audience really means writing for approval, and that is fine, everyone has that need, except the sources one is seeking approval from better be the highest authorities, who can also be contemporary writers. What if, say, Franz Wright, a poet I much admire, were reading my poetry, would he think it legitimate? Or if I write fiction, would it pass muster with Orhan Pamuk or J. M. Coetzee? If not, it's probably false.