Foster: Claire Keegan’s Art of the Unsaid

It is no small feat to make silence an essential part of the story, to make it a character of sorts, or a part of the landscape itself. To let the unsaid speak volumes and tear at our hearts. Other mediums, of course, have baked in access to the power of silence: film, paintings, and photography, especially. Music can also make use of sonic absence to heighten the power of each note, each break in time, and give us more space to process the evolution of emotions. But in the field of letters, mastering silence — and her noble cousin Brevity — requires extraordinary skill.…

Form is Emptiness. Emptiness is Form

Spinozablue welcomes the poetry of Virginie Colline, Hilary Sideris, Changming Yuan, Kenneth Pobo, Joan McNerney, and the fiction of Shanna Perplies.

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A tip of the hat goes to nnyhav for the link to Tim Parks’ excellent article in the New York Review of Books, The Chattering Mind. While most of the article is about modern literature, there is a section on the Buddhist quest to still the mind which I found brilliantly concise and relevant to past and future discussions here. The entire article being relevant, of course . . . .

Sitting for ten days on a cushion, eyes closed, cross-legged, seeking to empty your mind of words, it’s all too evident how obsessively the mind seeks to construct self-narrative, how ready it is to take interest in its own pain, to congratulate itself on the fertility of its reflection.

Silence and Mortality

No more words! A funny thing for a writer to demand. Not for an artist or a composer, necessarily. But it’s a strange call coming from an author, who obviously depends on words for his/her brick and mortar.

Silence. The fear of. The desire for. The demand, the scream, the crying out loud. Stop!!!

    “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”

    — Ludwig Wittgenstein

    “The silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.”

    — Blaise Pascal

When asked the fourteen unanswerable questions, the Buddha remained silent.

Chatter. Is it an escape from mortality? Do we talk, write, think in language to avoid silence?…

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