Emptiness

To take a look at emptiness in The Ravickians is difficult simply because our protagonist attempts, so fervently, to deny that there is an emptiness at all. However, this is where it becomes so apparent that the world of Ravicka exists, at this point in time, amongst an air of silence. 

She tries to explain Ravicka as a being filled with noise, but in doing so, betrays the silence: “Ravicka is not at all silent as they say it is. When I am in the city I hear everything. When on Bodi I can hear voices from Shumgater, two blocks away. When those voices cease I hear the Balşa wind. Very late at night, a single car speeds through the streets. I hear its engines shifting gears.” Here, the noises of Ravicka, the single car, the distant voices, they speak volumes to the silence that surrounds them. In a place full with something, these instances would go unnoticed, in this empty Ravicka, they are all we have left.

Similarly, Amini, our protagonist, discusses, inadvertently, the potential emptiness of language. She notes that, when translating, “Sometimes you will have to put a “0” there; this will indicate a hole….” This must happen (or should, at least) when a proper translation is not discernible. But, what does an “0” leave but nothingness. An empty pocket of communication that does not exist, and fills the streets with nothing but more silence.

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