• Mirna Radin Sabadoš University of Novi Sad Faculty of Philosophy Department of English



The Silence (novel), soundscapes, poetics, Don DeLillo, sound in literature, John Cage (composer), 4.33


In his Millennial novels (those published after 2000), DeLillo explores different aspects of the human perception of identity and the world we live in. His latest novel, Silence, challenges the conventions which are understood to represent the basis of our understanding of reality – the data, its collection and recording and how it is used to configure the dimension of time. The novel opens as a routine mix of chatter, or noise, and silence as its negative counterpart representing the time passing. However, as the novel unfolds, this seemingly objective view from the outside, delves into personal experiences of the protagonists creating certain soundscapes alternating between the noise and silence, depending more and more on sensory perception rather than on rational processing. With its skeletal structure and utmost reduction of narrative elements, the novel Silence approaches the idea of silence in a similar manner to composer John Cage in his work 4.33 (1952), who researched the idea in the medium of music, an art which like literature relies on rigorous formal features. Silence, for Don DeLillo as well as for Cage is not equal to the lack of content; in contrast, it represents the alternative aspect of sound and/or noise. The silence, as much as the sound, before all, marks our perception of the lapse of time.


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How to Cite

Radin Sabadoš, M. . (2022). THE ART OF NOISE AND THE ART OF SILENCE – DON DELILLO’S DEAFENING SOUNDSCAPES . PHILOLOGIST – Journal of Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies, 13(26), 287–305.