chapter  11
3 Pages

Silence

The falling of silence at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, according to Donohoe, as described in Chapter 9, comes naturally, as though part of the design itself. No signs are needed to enforce contemplation. The condition of silence is an aural dimension of the aesthetic of melancholy, reinforcing the interpretation of aesthetics as encompassing the full sensory domain. Rousseau, in searching for places of happiness, dismissed those which were either totally calm or had too much movement. Although in Rousseau’s eyes the opposite of what he was seeking, he advised that ‘Complete silence induces melancholy: it is an image of death’ (Rousseau, 2004, p.47).