As he tells his father, what he misses most is the sound of traffic. It seems the noise made by trucks and taxi cabs created for him a kind of evening lullaby. Now he finds it difficult to fall asleep in the quiet.
“What about the sound of crickets?” Navidson asks.
Chad shakes his head.
“It’s not the same. I dunno. Sometimes it’s just silent… No sound at all.”
“Does that scare you?”
“Why?” asks his father.
“It’s like something’s waiting.”
Chad shrugs. “I dunno Daddy. I just like the sound of traffic.”
House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski.
“Shall we converse, then?”
“Talk of the weather, which we know all about? Ask how we are, which we already know? I prefer silence. Then you can hear thoughts and see the past. Silence cannot conceal anything.”
The Ghost Sonata, August Strindberg.
What silence reveals, all sounds, the voices of things, the musical world… All of this becomes active, a kind of disjointed rebellion, a rhetorical device, a genealogy that legitimates the rule of the void.
“Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it and the books and talk that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence. Inside its cocoon of work or social obligation, the human spirit slumbers for the most part, registering the distinction between pleasure and pain, but not nearly as alert as we pretend. There are periods in the most thrilling day during which nothing happens and though we continue to exclaim, ‘I do enjoy myself,’ or, ‘I am horrified,’ we are insincere. ‘As far as I feel anything, it is enjoyment, horror’—it’s no more than that really and a perfectly adjusted organism would be silent.”
A Passage to India, E. M. Forster.