David Jackson and James Merrill at the Ouija board in Stonington, from “The Plato Club.” The idea for the feature evolved from an interview in which Jackson reported that, using a Ouija board, he and Merrill had contacted Truman Capote in the afterlife, a place called the Hedge. Presiding, as hostess and chief of protocol, is Alice B. Toklas.

David Jackson and James Merrill at the Ouija board in Stonington, from “The Plato Club.” The idea for the feature evolved from an interview in which Jackson reported that, using a Ouija board, he and Merrill had contacted Truman Capote in the afterlife, a place called the Hedge. Presiding, as hostess and chief of protocol, is Alice B. Toklas.

Historically, fiction has afforded writers the chance to break taboos—under the guise of the fictive, one can “talk about potentially embarrassing or even criminal personal experiences without bringing society’s censure on oneself.” So what happens when taboos fall away? “It could be we are moving towards a period where, as the writer ‘gets older’ … he or she finds it increasingly irrelevant to embark on another long work of fiction that elaborately reformulates conflicts and concerns that the reader anyway assumes are autobiographical. Far more interesting and exciting to confront the whole conundrum of living and telling head on, in the very different world we find ourselves in now, where more or less anything can be told without shame.”
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

Historically, fiction has afforded writers the chance to break taboos—under the guise of the fictive, one can “talk about potentially embarrassing or even criminal personal experiences without bringing society’s censure on oneself.” So what happens when taboos fall away? “It could be we are moving towards a period where, as the writer ‘gets older’ … he or she finds it increasingly irrelevant to embark on another long work of fiction that elaborately reformulates conflicts and concerns that the reader anyway assumes are autobiographical. Far more interesting and exciting to confront the whole conundrum of living and telling head on, in the very different world we find ourselves in now, where more or less anything can be told without shame.”

For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.