Source: Love Story
Canto XXIV, lines 77–78 (tr. Sinclair).
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Inferno
„The shocked silence that followed was decidedly baffled. And even, possibly, a little thoughtful, if that was not too much to hope.“
— Lois McMaster Bujold Science Fiction and fantasy author from the USA 1949
Source: World of the Five Gods series, Paladin of Souls (2003), p. 31
„And of me you ask which choice you should make?” said the translator’s voice.
“Yes,” I said.
There was the sound of rocks grinding, followed by a brief silence, and then: “The moral choice is obvious,” said the Wreed. “It always is.”
“And?” I said. “What is the moral choice?”
More sounds of rocks, then: “Morality cannot be handed down from an external source.” … “It must come from within.”
“You’re not going to tell me, are you?“
The Wreed wavered and vanished.
Source: Calculating God (2000), Chapter 32 (p. 309; ellipsis represents a minor elision of description)
„She waits for me at night, she waits for me in silence.
She gives me all her tenderness and takes away my pain.
And so far she hasn't run, though I swear she's had her moments.
She still believes in miracles while others cry in vain.“
— Billy Joel American singer-songwriter and pianist 1949
All About Soul.
Song lyrics, River of Dreams (1993)
„It is true of opinions as of other compositions that those who are seeped in them, whose ears are sensitive to literary nuances, whose antennae record subtle silences, can gather from their contents meaning beyond the words. All this presupposes, of course, a grasp of the nature of the Supreme Court's functions — the scope and limits of its constitutional authority — and often, as well, familiarity with the record and briefs of a particular case whose opinion record and briefs of a particular case whose opinion is under scrutiny.“
— Felix Frankfurter American judge 1882 - 1965
"'The Administrative Side' of Chief Justice Hughes", 63 Harvard Law Review 1, 2 (1949).
— Samuel Butler novelist 1835 - 1902
Silence and Tact
The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1912), Part XIV - Higgledy-Piggledy
Source: The Five People You Meet in Heaven
— Giannina Braschi Puerto Rican writer 1953
Empire of Dreams (prose poetry, 1988)
„The whole sense of the book might be summed up the following words: what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.“
— Ludwig Wittgenstein Austrian-British philosopher 1889 - 1951
Original German: Man könnte den ganzen Sinn des Buches etwa in die Worte fassen: Was sich überhaupt sagen lässt, lässt sich klar sagen; und wovon man nicht reden kann, darüber muss man schweigen.
1920s, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922)
„Music and silence… combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.“
— Marcel Marceau French mime and actor 1923 - 2007
US News & World R eport (23 February 1987)
— Leonard Cohen Canadian poet and singer-songwriter 1934 - 2016
— Yevgeny Yevtushenko Russian poet, film director, teacher 1932 - 2017
„I have known silence: the cold earthy silence at the bottom of a newly dug well; the implacable stony silence of a deep cave; the hot, drugged midday silence when everything is hypnotised and stilled into silence by the eye of the sun; the silence when great music ends.“
— Gerald Durrell naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist, author and television presenter 1925 - 1995
Letter to his fiancée Lee, (31 July 1978), published in Gerald Durrell: An Authorized Biography by Douglas Botting (1999)
Context: I have seen a thousand sunsets and sunrises, on land where it floods forest and mountains with honey coloured light, at sea where it rises and sets like a blood orange in a multicoloured nest of cloud, slipping in and out of the vast ocean. I have seen a thousand moons: harvest moons like gold coins, winter moons as white as ice chips, new moons like baby swans’ feathers.
I have seen seas as smooth as if painted, coloured like shot silk or blue as a kingfisher or transparent as glass or black and crumpled with foam, moving ponderously and murderously. … I have known silence: the cold earthy silence at the bottom of a newly dug well; the implacable stony silence of a deep cave; the hot, drugged midday silence when everything is hypnotised and stilled into silence by the eye of the sun; the silence when great music ends.
I have heard summer cicadas cry so that the sound seems stitched into your bones. … I have seen hummingbirds flashing like opals round a tree of scarlet blooms, humming like a top. I have seen flying fish, skittering like quicksilver across the blue waves, drawing silver lines on the surface with their tails. I have seen Spoonbills fling home to roost like a scarlet banner across the sky. I have seen Whales, black as tar, cushioned on a cornflower blue sea, creating a Versailles of fountain with their breath. I have watched butterflies emerge and sit, trembling, while the sun irons their winds smooth. I have watched Tigers, like flames, mating in the long grass. I have been dive-bombed by an angry Raven, black and glossy as the Devil’s hoof. I have lain in water warm as milk, soft as silk, while around me played a host of Dolphins. I have met a thousand animals and seen a thousand wonderful things… but —
All this I did without you. This was my loss.
All this I want to do with you. This will be my gain.
All this I would gladly have forgone for the sake of one minute of your company, for your laugh, your voice, your eyes, hair, lips, body, and above all for your sweet, ever surprising mind which is an enchanting quarry in which it is my privilege to delve.
„This sound has its own silence; all living things are involved in this sound of silence. To be attentive is to hear this silence and move with it.“
— Jiddu Krishnamurti Indian spiritual philosopher 1895 - 1986
Vol. II, p. 30
1980s, Letters to the Schools (1981, 1985)
Context: Attention involves seeing and hearing. We hear not only with our ears but also we are sensitive to the tones, the voice, to the implication of words, to hear without interference, to capture instantly the depth of a sound. Sound plays an extraordinary part in our lives: the sound of thunder, a flute playing in the distance, the unheard sound of the universe; the sound of silence, the sound of one’s own heart beating; the sound of a bird and the noise of a man walking on the pavement; the waterfall. The universe is filled with sound. This sound has its own silence; all living things are involved in this sound of silence. To be attentive is to hear this silence and move with it.
„Silence is the demon's trap, and the more one is silenced, the more terrible the demon; but silence is also the divinity's mutual understanding with the single individual.“
— Sören Kierkegaard Danish philosopher and theologian, founder of Existentialism 1813 - 1855
— Ramana Maharshi Indian religious leader 1879 - 1950
Abide as the Self