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Silence can now be added to the list of histories he has tackled.

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Or can it? The division of the book is not chronological but thematic, with chapters on, say, silence in nature and silence and love.

Mystery of Mexico's Zone of Silence. High Energy Votex Area - Ancient Aliens

Within individual chapters we do find minihistories of a few topics, running for three or four pages, such as the changing methods employed for training people to be silent. These are not, however, woven into a single, prolonged narrative. But then perhaps it is rather old-fashioned — and something the Annalistes challenged — to expect historical studies to have beginnings, middles, and ends.

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In the notes, there are around references to predominantly French-language authors — in a text of only pages. On some pages, lines from as many as six or seven authors are crammed together. But the piling up of quotations can become repetitive and irritating. In many cases where this is so, Corbin leaves himself no space to do it. Sometimes a quotation simply dangles, its purpose unclear. Between the quotations, what is it that Corbin himself has to say about silence?

He makes, to be sure, several perceptive points. He brings out nicely, for example, the dialectic of sounds and silences, as when the alternation of music and silence in a church service renders each of them more effective. Or think of how jazz musicians skillfully use pauses to accentuate rhythm and create anticipation of the next phrase. This is despite the announcement of just such a theme in the prelude.

This same ambition, incidentally, drives all the books on silence mentioned at the beginning of this review. For a start, many of the kinds of silence discussed hardly sound like ones to savor and admire: menacing, charged, and awkward silences, for example.

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Second, several passages from older writers, including John Milton and Pascal, indicate what should anyway be obvious: that many people have always dreaded silence. However, The Day of Silence can be observed in just about anyway. For example, some students hold rallies and others hold lectures or seminars. What is important is for students to get the word out about the bullying and harassment of members of the LGBTQ community.

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You can read more about it here. The prose is simple and elegant, revealing an extraordinary talent. The layers of silence that are stacked so neatly within this narrative are skillfully and precisely constructed, so that peeling one back only releases another.

Days in the History of Silence by Merethe Lindstrom | Penguin Random House Canada

To what extent can hiding the past from the next generation be a selfish act or a benevolent one? Is keeping painful secrets from loved ones, as Simon and Eva do throughout this novel, ever justified? Is it a kind of protest, a result of dementia, or perhaps something else? Do you think Simon is making a choice to be silent? If so, why do you think he chooses silence over telling? At the end of the novel, it is implied that Eva has finally decided to share the truth with her daughters.