Kinds of Silence

“There are two kinds of silence that trouble a translator: physical silence and metaphysical silence,” writes Anne Carson in her essay “Variations on the Right to Remain Silent” published in A Public Space. In the essay, Carson discusses various forms of silence—whether of torn ancient manuscripts, the untranslatable, or not being heard—through the works of British painter Francis Bacon and German poet Friedrich Hölderlin, weaving in and out of anecdotes and analyses that are punctuated by the author’s extensive experience as a translator of ancient Greek. Inspired by this thought-provoking essay, meditate on the many ways that silence has taken shape in your life. Then, write an essay that uses the works of others, or your own personal life, to illustrate your experience with silence.

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Author: Writing Prompter

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  • July 20, 2022