Thursday, July 09, 2009

Silence of the Logos

Montiglio concludes:

Silence is never neutral in the land of the logos. Many of its appearances seem to be variants of a similar sentiment, which could be called horror of the void. The Greek world is resonant, filled with circulating voices. On the battlefield, in the assembly, in the theater, in the city as a whole, the voice is an organizing principle. Silence threatens this fullness of sound. As a troublesome, paralyzing interruption of the verbal flow within the speech code of the Iliad; as an impenetrable and concentrated attitude in tragedy; as a sudden suspension of the normal course of nature, silence heralds disruption and provokes anxiety. Ominous silences most often break into cries: the horror of the void fills silence with its opposite, as if to re[e]stablish a lost equilibrium through an overcompensation of sound.

(p. 289)

I'd let this pass in silence but I want to note a possible difference between cultural representations of silence (the logos of silence, if you will) and silence as it actually experienced (the silence of the logos, perhaps). Does the consideration of silence as speech act obviate this difference? In any case can logoi encompass their own silences?

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posted by Fido the Yak at 3:03 AM.


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