"The Unspeakable is more like the part -- the massively significant part -- that Jane Austen leaves out of Mansfield Park: the brutal realities of imperialist colonialism upon which the pleasures of genteel liberal culture were (and in many ways still are) floated. You remember how in Heart of Darkness Conrad's Marlowe, on returning to Belgium, goes to pay his respects to the fiancée of the man he knows to have been a monstrous colonial mass murderer, Mr. Kurtz. However, face to face with the beautiful young woman, Marlowe feels compelled to produce a sentimental lie. Instead of telling her that the dying Mr. Kurtz's last words were what they were -- "The horror, the horror" -- he claims that Kurtz spent his final breath whispering her name. To many readers it seems that Marlowe made the right move: men should not only protect women from the truth, but also promote a belief in the existence of a kinder gentler world, a rose-tinted view of things that requires continual reinforcement in order to be sustained. Among comments I have heard: 'Let's not look at that. It's not nice. Women don't think like that.' For my part, I honestly do not support Marlowe's move. Beautiful lies and wishful thinking are heartbreak in the making, not worth preserving."