Studies in honor of Eddo Rigotti
Edited By Giovanni Gobber and Andrea Rocci
Lorenzo Cantoni, Stefano Tardini: Listening and silence in communication: reflections on two texts
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Listening and silence in communication: reflections on two texts
LORENZO CANTONI & STEFANO TARDINI, University of Lugano
1. Messages between production and understanding
In his famous novel about a marionette who became human, Carlo Collodi presents one of the first misbehaviors of Pinocchio: as soon as Pinocchio can use his legs, he flows away in the street, followed by Geppetto, who cannot catch him and shouts to everybody in the street: “Catch him! Catch him!”. A carabineer grabs Pinocchio by the nose and returns him to Geppetto:
The little old man wanted to pull Pinocchio’s ears. Think how he felt when, upon searching for them, he discovered that he had forgotten to make them! (The Adventures of Pinocchio, Ch. 3)
As researchers and educators in the field of communication, are we caring enough for the ears? The risk of forgetting them, so busy as we are with messages themselves and their production, is something we can’t overestimate.
In fact, one could argue that listening (and understanding) is by definition part of every communication act/experience: without that receiving part, it would remain a mere expression, not yet communication. This is for sure true. On the other side, however, recent trends seemed to have stressed the production and the product sides over the reception one, leaving listening, interpreting, and – hopefully – understanding, to the hermeneutical philosophy or to literary studies. In the preparation of communication experts – as well...
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