ABSTRACT

Throughout the discussions in this book I use the terms 'the unsaid' and 'silence' as interchangeable. The question whether there is any difference between the two terms is, however, interesting and encourages the reader to consider what exactly is happening when ellipsis is perceived in a text. Perhaps one could define 'the unsaid' as referring specifically to everything that is not articulated. 'Silence' instead can be a condition, and therefore can be the theme of a text, related to 'ineffability', or else it can be the muteness of a character, central to the plot (such as Dacia Maraini's silent duchess) 1 or, for instance, the inability of the victim to voice his or her pain, particularly relevant to any discussion of Holocaust literature. Perhaps one term suggests a gap that is more deliberate, more willed than the other, but it would be arbitrary and somewhat artificial to say which. Therefore, although I will be considering many different kinds of silence in literature, these two words will remain interchangeable for me.