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A Book of Silence

A Book of Silence

Sara Maitland


An exploration of the power of silence, and a progressively ore extended periods in more remote locations. It's an attractive journey for any introvert to hear about. It's unfortunate that, in this telling, it gets wrapped-up on explorations of religion and linguistics.

Is the modern world uniquely hostile to silence? It certainly favours extroversion, but it also allows people to undertake solitary existences without having to give up much of its conveniences (as we've all discovered over two years of pandemic semi-isolation).

I'm unconvinced by some of the close-read arguments and religious ties. That fact that, in the Jewish-Christian tradition, God made the world with the Word doesn't convince me that there's an overwhelming and ancient bias against silence, as something that has morally to be broken. I'm also unconvinced by the other religious, philosophical, and psychological speculations that to my mind get in the way of reporting the more interesting first-person experiences. Perhaps that sort of reportage is a book remaining to be written.

3/5. Finished 12 February 2022.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)

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