Annika J. Lindskog
Silent Modernism. Soundscapes and the Unsayable in Richardson, Joyce, and Woolf
Lund Studies in English 118
ISBN: 978-91-976935-6-1, 978-91-976935-7-8
How do you represent thoughts, feelings, and experiences for which words do not suffice? This question lies behind many of the experiments that characterize modernist fiction. Silent Modernism: Soundscapes and the Unsayable in Richardson, Joyce, and Woolf examines one of the solutions to the problem of representing the unrepresentable: letting silence speak instead of words. By closely examining the form and function of silence in the works of three central modernists – Dorothy Richardson, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf – this award-winning study argues that silence is part of a modernist aesthetics that emphasizes suggestion rather than precision. Through silence, these three writers not only draw their readers’ attention to difficulties concerning literary representation but also suggest the very content they cannot properly represent. Silence in the modernist novel is thus not an absence but an expression in its own right – and an essential aspect of modernist realism.