Discursive Silence: A Tool to Read between the Lines in Persian Stories

Leila Sadeghi Esfehani, University of Tehran




Hemingway, if a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may be silent about seven-eighth of the text (1996: 192). This silence as a notable absence leaves a meaningful trace, which is a marker of written silence. Such silence has an interactive role, employed as a discursive technique in literature to produce a fictional world. Based on this theory, the reader seeks to fill the empty places in the fictional text to understand the story completely. An appropriate device for filling the blanks would be possible through understanding the different six types of silence and its functions. To be exact, the narrative silence is represented in structural, semantic and pragmatic types discussed respectively in three syntagmatic, paradigmatic, and interactive axes. This paper examines these variations of narrative silence in five Persian short stories to analyze the structure of narrative and the creation of the elements of a story by means of silence. The purpose of studying silence is to establish how the narrative structure is based on untold or omitted parts in subtly differing ways, so each kind of silence has its special function in these five stories. Generally, the theory of silence not only proposes a universal pattern for studying fiction, but also suggests a comprehensive analytic tool to study the structuring of narrative that will then allow scholars to differentiate the different silences that constitute styles of fiction writing.

Keywords: Silence, plot, syntagmatic, paradigmatic, interactive, narrative.


International Journal of Linguistics, 2015, Vol. 7, No. 5: 99-118

Available online at http://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/ijl/article/view/8186
ISSN 1948-5425 ©2011 Academic Journals



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