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A Book Of Silence av Sara Maitland
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A Book Of Silence (urspr publ 2008; utgåvan 2009)

av Sara Maitland (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4191844,861 (3.91)35
After a noisy upbringing as one of six children, and adulthood as a vocal feminist and mother, Sara Maitland began to crave silence. Over the past five years, she has spent periods of silence in the Sinai Desert and the Australian bush and on the Isle of Skye. She interweaves these experiences with the history of silence told through fairy tale and myth, Western and Eastern religious traditions, the Enlightenment and psychoanalysis, up to the ambivalence towards silence in contemporary society. Maitland has built a hermitage on an isolated Scottish moor, and the book culminates powerfully with her experiences of silence in this new home.… (mer)
Medlem:mosesmosheh
Titel:A Book Of Silence
Författare:Sara Maitland (Författare)
Info:Granta Books (2009), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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A Book of Silence av Sara Maitland (2008)

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» Se även 35 omnämnanden

engelska (14)  nederländska (3)  spanska (1)  Alla språk (18)
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The dictionary defines silence as absence of any sound or noise. But in the modern environment we are surrounded by numerous sources of noise, from traffic, planes, phones and even the background hum from the mains.

As Maitland goes on to discover and describe in this book, there are many types of silence, for the natural sounds of a seascape to the brush of the wind through a meadow and the unnerving silence of a wood. She visits a desert, and spends weeks at an isolated house on Skye seeking silence, and exploring her feelings towards solitude. As she is a practicing catholic, there is a huge spiritual dimension to this book. She writes about the Christian methods of silence and prayer, the Islamic desert, and the Tibetan mountain refuges.

Some silences are enforced, such as sensory deprivation, and are considered as a form of torture. She writes of others who have endured silence because of mishaps and misfortune, that have driven people to the edge of reason. At the end of the book she describes the house that she bought on a moor and the methods that she uses in seeking that silence.

Generally I thought that the book was well written, and she gives a balanced account of this most enigmatic of situations. I felt that the last couple of chapters lacked the focus of the earlier ones, hence only three stars.
( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Viaje al silencio es el resultado de diez años de búsqueda explorando el silencio con todas sus contradicciones y paradojas: como fuente de paz pero también de miedo, de creatividad y de parálisis, en diferentes contextos geográficos, tales como páramos islas escocesas, monasterios budistas, cristianos y reuniones cuáqueras, viajes al monte Sinaí y paseos por el montañoso sur de Escocia; también en textos literarios de místicos, exploradores, aventureros y condenados al ostracismo. Sara Maitland escribe su tesis principal en la que el silencio no debe concebirse como “ausencia” o vacío, sino como presencia.
  bibliotecayamaguchi | Oct 18, 2019 |
A honest woman wrote this book - honest, thoughtful, and not at all sentimental. She identifies a hunger for silence - and I am inspired by her story to seek silence and to structure it into my life. I had never quite noticed how noisy both my interior and exterior life was until these pages opened new vistas. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
This is a pretty unique book in that it is a book on silence, written by a novelist who seeks to build the practice of silence more into her life. She is a Christian and states of one objective to exploring the practice of silence is to deepen her prayer life. She does say that it does, but it not very forthright and vulnerable about her prayer life. You don't really get that in this book, though she does include some theological reflection in these pages.

Instead her book is like an Atlas that names the terrain of a land called Silence. She speaks of her own experience of silence, including her six-weeks in solitude and Silence on the Isle of Skye. She is able to name some of the positive aspects of silence, the negative impacts of silence (often gathered from the journals of travelers, explorers and extreme sports practictioners). She also explores how the silence that spiritual writers seek differs from the silence of the author (a emptying silence or a creating silence).

I found this book interesting but I don't know how to categorize it. It is a memoir. But it isn't a book on spirituality. And it isn't not a book on spirituality. It was way better than that '[b:Eat, Pray, Love|19501|Eat, Pray, Love|Elizabeth Gilbert|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1269870432s/19501.jpg|3352398]' book which is a literary travesty. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
In this fascinating and far-ranging book, Maitland tells about her search for a more silent life, after growing up in a noisy family and living in our increasingly noisy world. It chronicles a journey both physical, as Maitland travels to the Isle of Skye, the Sinai desert, and the Scottish highlands and moves her home several times, and religious and emotional. What attracted me most to this work was the breadth of the resources Maitland brings to bear on her quest: a wide variety of literary works, close observation of the natural world, psychology, neurobiology, and religion (she is herself a religious person, but she also delves into other religious traditions than her own).

She began her search with a twofold goal: to deepen her religous experience and to enhance her writing. She first spent a bibilical 40 days and 40 nights in a tiny isolated cottage on the Isle of Skye. Noting that most people who wrote about silence did so from a religious perspective, she read works by others who had encountered silence, including solo sailers, mountain climbers, and polar and underwater explorers. She discusses their perspectives and what they noticed during their silent experiences and examines her own psychological and perceptual reactions, including oneness with the universe and loss of boundaries She writes (referring both to her reading and to her own reactions, and to a way of thinking that says that silence is an absence):

"Now look at the eight particular experiences I have described here: an intesnification of both physiological and psychological sensation; disinhibition; a sense of 'givenness' or connection; auditory hallucinations - voice hearing of a rather particular kind; boundary confusions; an exhilirating consciousness of being at risk, in peril; ineffability and bliss.

I would not want to suggest that this was a definitive list. But even as it stands, it does seem to me that to describe these experiences in terms of 'lack" or 'absence" is simply stupid."
p. 78

She goes on to describe some of the darker sides of silence (including how the same experience, depending on context, can be supremely peaceful or horrifyingly disturbing) and the relation of silence to various religious traditions, some of which she contrasts. Then she discusses silent places, including her own search for a more silent place to live, where she observes clouds, plants, insects, and most especially birds, even visiting the most northerly inhabited Shetland island to watch them. This allows her to discuss islands and their association with the Christian hermit tradition in Britain and Ireland, as well as forests and fairy stories (I have started another book by Maitland that is focused on this topic).

" . . . there are emotionally different silences and intellectually different silences too. . . . Chosen silence can be crative and generate self-knowledge, integration and profound joy; being silenced (a silence chosen by someone else and forced upon one) can drive people mad. . . Silence is multifaceted, a densely woven fabric of many different strands and threads." p. 187

Then she describes her trip to the Sinai desert to explore the silence experienced by the desert hermits and the way the desert environment influenced the religions that came out of it. After that, she returns to southwest Scotland where she grew up to explore, through hiking in the mountains and the hills, the romantic movement's interest in silence and nature as a stimulus to writing, especially poetry, and art. In her final chapter she discusses "the biliss of solitude" and her search for a place to live where she could integrate as much silence as possible into her life. She discovered that increased silence allowed her to develop her religious practice but not to write fiction. She attributes this to a difference in goals for silence: in religion, one wants to empty the mind and the body so "the divine can inscribe itself," whereas the romantic movement wanted silence "to shore up and strengthen the boundaries of the self . . . to enable an individual to establish autonomous freedom and an authentic voice."

I have not done justice to this extraordinary book. Partly that is because I read it over more than a month in fits and starts; partly it is because it contains so much diverse information from so many perspectives, all filtered through Maitland's questioning mind and lovely writing.
3 rösta rebeccanyc | Dec 14, 2014 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (2 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Sara Maitlandprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Fuchs, ElinorÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Petersen, KarinÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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For Janet Batsleer and John Russell for reasons best buried in silence.
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It is early morning.
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After a noisy upbringing as one of six children, and adulthood as a vocal feminist and mother, Sara Maitland began to crave silence. Over the past five years, she has spent periods of silence in the Sinai Desert and the Australian bush and on the Isle of Skye. She interweaves these experiences with the history of silence told through fairy tale and myth, Western and Eastern religious traditions, the Enlightenment and psychoanalysis, up to the ambivalence towards silence in contemporary society. Maitland has built a hermitage on an isolated Scottish moor, and the book culminates powerfully with her experiences of silence in this new home.

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