Advertisement

Introduction

  • Thomas Gould
Chapter

Abstract

Beginning with a discussion of George Oppen’s poem “Of Being Numerous”, Gould summarises the difficulties and necessities of silence in relation to modern philosophy, poetry and literature. Focusing on the strategic and ethical impulses of Barthes and Blanchot, as well as the famous final proposition of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, Gould traces the problematic place of silence between absence and presence, human and animal, the ineffably transcendent and the ineffably immanent. Gould places an emphasis on the Barthesian binary of silere and tacere, which distinguishes between a silence absolutely prior to language and a silence of and in language. With a focus on the example of avant-garde composer John Cage, Gould introduces the term “exposure” as a way of referring to the place of silence in and through language.

Bibliography

  1. Barthes, R., “Inaugural Lecture at the Collège de France”, in A Barthes Reader, ed. Susan Sontag, New York: Hill and Wang (1982).Google Scholar
  2. ———, The Neutral, trans. R.E. Krauss and D. Hollier, New York: Columbia University Press (2005).Google Scholar
  3. ———, Writing Degree Zero and Elements of Semiology, trans. A. Lavers and C. Smith, London: Vintage (2010).Google Scholar
  4. Bataille, G., Inner Experience, trans. L.A. Boldt, Albany: State University of New York Press (1988).Google Scholar
  5. Blanchot, M., Le Livre à Venir, Paris: Gallimard (1959).Google Scholar
  6. ———, The Writing of the Disaster, trans. A. Smock, Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press (1995).Google Scholar
  7. ———, “The Death of the Last Writer”, in The Book to Come, trans. Charlotte Mandell, Palo Alto: Stanford University Press (2003).Google Scholar
  8. Cage, J., Silence, London: Marion Boyars (1968).Google Scholar
  9. Derrida, J., and Attridge, D., “This Strange Institution Called Literature”, trans. G. Bennington and R. Bowlby, in Derrida, J., Acts of Literature, ed. D. Attridge, London: Routledge (1992).Google Scholar
  10. Eeckhout, B., Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing, Columbia: University of Missouri Press (2002).Google Scholar
  11. Gray, J., The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths, London: Penguin (2014).Google Scholar
  12. Mandelstam, O., The Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam, trans. C. Brown and W.S. Merwin, New York: The New York Review of Books (1973).Google Scholar
  13. Nancy, J.-L., Corpus, trans. R. Rand, New York: Fordham University Press (2008).Google Scholar
  14. Oppen, G., New Collected Poems, ed. M. Davidson, Manchester: Carcanet (2003).Google Scholar
  15. Pascal, B., Pensées, ed. Ch.-M. des Granges, Paris: Garnier (1964), no. 206.Google Scholar
  16. Roethke, T., The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke, London: Faber and Faber (1966).Google Scholar
  17. Winnicott, D.W., “Communicating and Not Communicating, Leading to a Study of Certain Opposites”, in The Maturational Processes and the Facilitating Environment, London: Hogarth Press (1965).Google Scholar
  18. Wittgenstein, L., Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, trans. D.F. Pears and B.F. McGuinness, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul (1974).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Gould
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations