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Quiet TestimonyA Theory of Witnessing from Nineteenth-Century American Literature$
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Shari Goldberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254774

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254774.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Staying Quiet

Chapter:
(p.149) Conclusion
Source:
Quiet Testimony
Author(s):

Shari Goldberg

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823254774.003.0006

This conclusion spells out how the quiet testimony of the nineteenth century, taken as a whole, might provide a model for more contemporary thinking about bearing witness. Quiet testimony works against the current tendency to assume that testimony is motivated by the unspeakable, proposing instead an orientation toward how the world manifests itself as significant. It seems almost irreverent to propose that Emerson’s vegetable might bear on more explicit accounts of suffering, yet putting these entities in conversation, re-viewing them as part of a genealogy, may allow us to hear them all more acutely.

Keywords:   Testimony, Unspeakable, Expression, Meaning, Literary, Enchantment

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