Communication difficulties

Michael Swanwick, discussing Samuel R. Delany’s comments about the vanishing art of innuendo. (I noticed a similar effect in high school, when three quarters of the class had no idea when Tess Durbeyfield got pregnant.) What was clear to readers during an era of legal or customary discretion or censorship later reads as obfuscation. It’s something to keep in mind when reading primary sources, as well as foundational genre texts. Just a couple decades can make a big difference.

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