A Book of Silence, by Sara Maitland
The BBC sound archive has a range of different silences: ‘night silence in an urban street’; ‘morning silence, dawn, the South Downs’; ‘morning silence, winter moor’; ‘silence, sitting room’; ‘silence, garage’; ‘silence, cement bunker;’ ‘silence, beach’. You only have to read those phrases to know, viscerally, that their differences are true and real, and that you could add any number of others. Silence, kitchen, with fridge; silence, theatre; silence, restaurant, across the table; silence, restaurant, rural, general; silence, car, after argument; silence, bath; silence, bed, 3am; silence, at the Cenotaph; silence, friendly and silence, not. When Tess and Angel Clare were approaching Stonehenge, ‘the whole enormous landscape bore that impress of reserve, taciturnity, and hesitation which is usual just before day.