Silence | Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out, 1915


“I want to write a novel about Silence,” he said;
“the things people don’t say.”

“Thoughts without words…Can that be?”

 Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts, 1941

3 thoughts on “Silence | Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out, 1915

  1. "What novels do you write?" she asked.

    "I want to write a novel about Silence," he said; "the things people don't say. But the difficulty is immense." He sighed. "However, you don't care," he continued. He looked at her almost severely. "Nobody cares. All you read a novel for is to see what sort of person the writer is, and, if you know him, which of his friends he's put in. As for the novel itself, the whole conception, the way one's seen the thing, felt about it, make it stand in relation to other things, not one in a million cares for that. And yet I sometimes wonder whether there's anything else in the whole world worth doing. These other people," he indicated the hotel, "are always wanting something they can't get. But there's an extraordinary satisfaction in writing, even in the attempt to write. What you said just now is true: one doesn't want to be things; one wants merely to be allowed to see them."

  2. I catch the pattern
    Of your silence
    Before you speak

    I do not need
    To hear a word.

    In your silence
    Every tone I seek
    Is heard.

    Langston Hughes / Silence //
    Carmel Pine Cone / July 18 / 1941

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