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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.509

CiteScore 2018: 0.23

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.232
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.478

Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca: Classe A

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Volume 2013, Issue 193


Presence of la femme: The semiotic silence

Aarne Ruben
Published Online: 2013-02-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0015


This paper is concentrated on the phenomenon of silence in a situation, which lacks an actual signifier: silence is renderable, although not accessible for every hearer. Different strata of silence are represented and thoroughly depicted. The author observes several historical appearances of the phenomenon of quietness: pictorial, radio silence, conventional (arbitrary) silence.

Silence is never perfect, it is only a harmony of accidental noises. Silence in the Hell-mouth tradition in folklore plays the role of semiotic relaxation time. There were devils in the seventeenth century Estonian witchcraft tradition. In cases when witches would not be quiet and revealed some parts of their identity to their enemies, e.g, through their magic spells, Satan could immediately run with them to a remota loca. Through the stages of civilization's formation, silence cast the following roles: discursive or memorial gaps, memory traumas. The symbols of local memory traumas are codes for the magical operators in the mouth of Hell: you should never disclose your name to the non-identity.

Keywords: silence; witchcraft; phantasms; semiotic borders; remote place; Lotman's theory

About the article

Aarne Ruben

Aarne Ruben (b. 1971) is a PhD candidate at the University of Tallinn 〈aarne_ruben@hotmail.com〉. His research interests include semiotics and literature.

University of Tallinn

Published Online: 2013-02-22

Published in Print: 2013-02-22

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2013, Issue 193, Pages 289–308, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0015.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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