Funny running across this on the heels of my Reality Hunger post. Coincidence or serendipity?
Prosaic examples illustrate the familiarity of [obstacles to communication]: some people speak more loudly than others; some are never in the conversation to start with; some topics are difficult to raise, or fall out of conversation quickly. Such examples may be encountered much more explicitly in fiction than they are noticed in everyday life, especially if we are ourselves invested, however unconsciously, in keeping something relatively unmentioned. In fiction … we can witness the discomfort that ripples out from rifts in the smoothed fabric of unmentionableness, while in our own conversations, we are often too much of the cultures of discourse, axiomatic beliefs, and de facto assumptions to attend to the parameters of what cannot be said that hedge our choices of explicit verbal exploration.
We are comfortable enough with the elephant in the room, that which will remain unsaid, or is better left unsaid, or a decision to let us never speak of this again that it becomes an interesting challenge to mention the unmentionable.