The Aesthetics of Silence  

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"The scene changes to an empty room.

Rimbaud has gone to Abyssinia to make his fortune in the slave trade. Wittgenstein, after a period as a village school-teacher, has chosen menial work as a hospital orderly. Duchamp has turned to chess. Accompanying these exemplary renunciations of a vocation, each man has declared that he regards his previous achievements in poetry, philosophy, or art as trifling, of no importance."--The Aesthetics of Silence by Susan Sontag

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Aesthetics of Silence is an essay by Susan Sontag first published in book form in Styles of Radical Will. She examines three 20th century intellectuals who - after having produced work in their younger years - stopped making anything as they grew older. Her case rests on Arthur Rimbaud, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Marcel Duchamp.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Aesthetics of Silence" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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