Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On Speaking the Unspeakable, part 3

         Brother Barnett, of course reacts in a very different way. Rather than refuse to say his taboo words, he revels in using them while making impromptu public speeches—it helps, of course, that two of Barnett's fetish words are 'God' and 'Jesus'—he gets the double payoff of being able to verbally stimulate himself while to all appearances being a stalwart (if slightly nutty) spreader of the Gospel.
       In the story, the siblings acquire their taboo words through sexual abuse at the hands of a stepfather who uses them as a kind of psychological experiment.
       I wondered, however, if other people had private 'taboo' words and, if so, how the words might have become forbidden ones.