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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 9/24/2015
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

What is silence? In a series of short meditations, novelist and playwright John Biguenet considers silence as a servant of power, as a lie, as a punishment, as the voice of God, as a terrorist's final weapon, as a luxury good, as the reason for torture-in short, as an object we both do and do not recognize. Concluding with the prospects for its future in a world burgeoning with noise, Biguenet asks whether we should desire or fear silence-or if it is even ours to choose.

Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.

Author Biography

John Biguenet is Robert Hunter Distinguished University Professor at Loyola University, New Orleans, USA. His publications include Oyster (Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers, 2002), The Torturer’s Apprentice: Stories (Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers, 2001), Theories of Translation: An Anthology of Essays from Dryden to Derrida (co-editor with Rainer Schulte, University of Chicago Press, 1992), and Foreign Fictions (Random House/Vintage, 1978). He served as the first guest columnist of The New York Times (2005-2006). He has received an O. Henry Award for short fiction, and his nonfiction, poetry, fiction and plays have appeared in such magazines as Granta, Esquire, Oxford American, and Playboy. He has twice been elected president of the American Literary Translators Association.

Table of Contents

What Is Silence?
A Brief History of Silence
Metaphors and Depictions of Silence
The Architecture of Silence
Selling Silence: Privilege and Stillness
“Appalling Silence”: The Morality of Silence
“Nothing Strengthens Authority So Much As Silence”: Silence and Power
The Silent Treatment: Silence as Forms of Punishment
Tortured Silence
The Terrorist’s Silence
Observing a Minute of Silence: Grief and Memory
One Hand Clapping: Silence and Religion
Reading Silently: Silence in Education
Caesura: Silence in Poetry, Music, Film, Theater and Art
Translating Silence
Silenced: Secrets
The Mute Lover: Erotic Silences
I Can’t Hear Myself Think: Silence and the Self
Silence as the Absence of the Human
The Future of Silence

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