This is the subject of today’s Bookends feature from the Sunday NYT Book Review: “What Are the Last Literary Taboos?” Francine Prose and James Parker play a little Crossfire with the topic and it gives us an opportunity to think about a difficult subject and to develop our own opinions. If you consider the idea of literary taboos a bit passé, I guarantee you will encounter, on a daily basis. a clear example of someone or some organization that doesn’t think it is passé and furthermore considers it a clear and present danger to the survival of our culture … our species, even. Think of it, a naughty short story might one day destroy all that we hold dear … or maybe just bring a smile to our faces … you never know.
Prose gives a nice summary of some of the well-understood examples of questionable fiction: