5: Silences

Silences features tributes to Samuel Beckett and Gertrude Stein as well as writing from Rikki Ducornet, Rick Moody, Bruno Schulz, Heather McHugh, Saadi Youssef, and Wislawa Szymborska, among many others. PEN Members discuss the unspeakable.

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Silences: A Forum

PEN Members, Unspoken, Unspeakable


Richard Powers, Improvisations
Tahar Ben Jelloun, Light Reading
Rikki Ducornet, Tangible Dreams
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, ¡……!
Fernando Pessoa, Peristyle
Gertrude Stein, The Only One
Italo Calvino, Tamara
Barry Yourgrau, Beyond the Pale
Bruno Schulz, The Book
David Grossman, Bruno
Gary Farlow, The Prison
Rainer Maria Rilke, The Wrecked Houses; The Big Thing


Samuel Beckett, Close of a Long Day
Wallace Stevens, The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm
Jaime Saenz, The Basket of Wool
Antonia Pozzi, Two Poems
Lyn Hejinian, Preliminaries consist of such eternity
Heather McHugh, What He Thought
Paul Kane, Two Poems
Dana Levin, Two Poems
Les Murray, Fredy’s War
Saadi Youssef, Three Poems
Gordon Grilz, The Nature of Things
Cynthia MacDonald, A Past-Due Notice


Grace Paley, Six Days
Joseph Brodsky, The Widow
Nadezhda Mandelstam, A Piece of Chocolate
Margaret Morganroth Gullette, This Long Silence
Atul Gawande, The Education of a Knife
Rick Moody, Intoxication of Conscience
Esther Allen, Confessions of a Silent Genre
Michael Wood, The Work of Solitude
Susan Sontag, Fragments
Richard Zenith, Pessoa’s Disquiet
Wislawa Szymborska, Some Recommended Reading
Larry Siems, July 5, 2003
Lawrence Venuti, Antonia Pozzi: Revisions
Jerzy Ficowski, Black Thursday


Alan Adelson and Henryk Grynberg, Bruno Schulz: Life and Deaths
PEN Children’s Book Authors Committee, Dark Realities: What Can’t Be Said in Children’s Books

Tributes to Samuel Beckett and Gertrude Stein

Mel GussowRichard SeaverJeannette Seaver, Edward Albee, Paul Auster, Christopher Ricks, Israel Horovitz, Tom Bishop, Gertrude Stein, Wayne Koestenbaum, William H. Gass, John Ashbery, Margo Jefferson, Susan Sontag


Thomas Bernhard throws his voice.