Silence, Word and Light

Silence, Word and Light

Michele Zanzucchi. Silence, Word and Light. Listen, Communication and Mass Media. Collana Universitas, Città Nuova pub. (2012)

Immersed in an age dominated by supersonic speed of technology and mass media invasion, we tend to confine silence to the margins of our daily lives; underestimating the fundamental importance that silence has in the general processes of communication. Michele Zanzucchi’s essay entitled Silence, Word and Light. Listen, Communication and Mass Media has put light on this matter.

A thought-provoking text with interdisciplinary prospects, which finds inspiration from Chiara Lubich and broader aspects of Christian thought. A book which prompts a regenerated ethic vitality, for a new beginning in communication.

Zanzucchi is a journalist, writer and director of Città Nuova, the monthly journal of the Focolare Movement, lecturer of mass media and journalism at the Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Rome and at Sofia University Institute. The author weaves into the binomial silence-word, a union which is of extraordinary and fruitful anthropological value, a thick weft which has in the image- metaphorically evoked by the call to the light- something quite significant and original respect to traditional boundaries in classic debates. It is a fascinating study which gives a thorough analysis on foundations, categories and perspectives dear to professionals in the field of mass media and communication and observes problems and the criticality of existing scenarios in a renewed way both in internal mechanisms, ways and contents.

Silence, like word, is the cardinal of communication but here it is not meant as a negation or worse still, an empty space to fear or to fill at all costs. The concept here evokes multiple contexts and sentiments which at times contrast with each other because of its manifold meanings: the space of irreducible alterity, which exalts the value of listening and relation; time of waiting and reflection which prepares us for comprehension; the meeting place with God and other places.

During his book presentation at the Vatican Radio, Zanzucchi stated that the most profound meaning of silence is evoked by the Christian concept of kenosiand he referred to it in this way, “the silence of God is not an end in itself but it is a silence which provokes, generates and allows the word to become word”.

An innovative and well-written guide to professionals of mass media field. The book is also a message of hope which has in the communication of man and for man – founded of the primacy of silence over the word – an aim both possible and desirable, and in harmony with the unexpected topic chosen by the Pope for the World Communications Day 2012: “Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization”. An unanticipated and fortuitous coincidence, but above all, it is a horizon of meaning to regain in order to leave the deafening noise we have precipitated into our lives.