Sounds of Silence: The Unspoken Voices in Four Spanish and German Post-War Texts Open Access

Castle, Micah (2015)

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This honors thesis examines the use of silence in texts (literature and film) about the Spanish Civil War and the Holocaust. My thesis aims to demonstrate that rather than an absence, silence is chosen by writers and directors consciously, as a powerful tool used to communicate trauma. Each chapter explores various manifestations of silence as seen in the following four examples: "Explico algunas cosas" ("I Explain Some Things") by Pablo Neruda, "Todesfuge" ("Deathfuge") by Paul Celan, Night by Elie Wiesel, and El espíritu de la colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive), directed by Víctor Érice. These diverse sources provide a cross-cultural examination of the use of silence in response to the horrors of war (the Holocaust and the Spanish Civil War). Additionally, my sources span several decades between their publication dates and each war.

Table of Contents

A Note on Translations and Translators 1

Introduction 2

Chapter One: Come and See the Silence in Pablo Neruda's "Explico algunas cosas" 8

Chapter Two: The Master of Silence in Paul Celan's "Todesfuge" 18

Chapter Three: Silence as Power to Contest the Silence of Apathy in Elie Wiesel's Night 33

Chapter Four: A Response to Censorship: Silence in Víctor Érice's El espíritu de la colmena 49

Conclusion 62

Works Cited 65

Bibliography 69

References 70

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