An Eloquent Silence Silent Women in Th ree Novels by Patrick Modiano FRANCE GRENAUDIER- KLIJN Silence is of d ier ff ent kinds, and breathes d ier ff ent meanings. — Charlott e Brontë, Villett e Trauma and Silence Well- accepted arguments and convincing rationales have estab- lished the benefi ts of “speaking out” in the context of trauma therapy. While it would be misleading to infer that silence is systematically por- trayed negatively within the psychoanalytical sphere, it remains none- theless true that, as Carol A. Kidron neatly summarizes, “well- being is thought to be contingent on the liberation of voice.” Indeed, in the eyes of most psychoanalysts, secrecy, silence, and muteness are seen negatively. Th us, a majority would be inclined to denounce the “insidious eff ects” of silence, deemed susceptible to “intensif[y] the impact of trauma.” Within such frame of reference, silence is first and foremost pathological. Con- versely, talking and testimony are highly regarded; patients are encour- aged to “break the silence” while traumatized communities are invited to “go beyond silence.” W hile more readily accepted within the sphere of post- Shoah writing, the symptomatology of silence is nonetheless frequently denounced here too. In the
Journal of Literature and Trauma Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 12, 2018
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