eCite Digital Repository

New accounts of old accounts, the chatter of silence and not being who we are not


Gray, R and Malpas, J and Brennan, A, New accounts of old accounts, the chatter of silence and not being who we are not, Accounting Forum, 38, (4) pp. 296-298. ISSN 0155-9982 (2014) [Letter or Note in Journal]

Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.accfor.2014.09.001


The invitation to write a response to four, bewilderingly different, reactions to our paper (Gray et al., this issue) evoked in us an array of reactions that themselves ranged from puzzled silence to stunned incoherence. Not a very great range you might think, but we passed through some very diverse places between there and now. The dominating temptation was to just shrug, say "thanks" and leave it at that. But that temptation, in turn, eventually raised a constructive reaction that fell somewhere between a reflection on why one might write at all – and a reflection on silence. Amongst the greatest joys of our privileged existence as academics, it seems to us, are those moments of total absorption that follow the reading of a text or the hearing of an exposition. The intensity can be such that we burst with a need to respond: to speak, to laugh, to write. Response is demanded of us by the very intensity of our involvement with the narrative. Equally, we can remember those moments when we are stunned to a silence of appreciation and awe, as if in the presence of a great piece of music or architecture for the first time: we are made complete and are fulfilled in embracing a completeness in silence. And then there are those, happily rare, moments when one simply does not know what to say and a potentially embarrassing silence – not the silence of fulfillment and awe – opens like a chasm in front of one. We engage in a tendentious hyperbole if we try to suggest that this last is precisely where we find ourselves following the comments on our paper as each one engendered reactions of "what!?", "pardon?", errr!" and "oh yeah, that’s right": it is the cumulative reaction that leaves us in this embarrassed silence.

Item Details

Item Type:Letter or Note in Journal
Keywords:social accounting, new accounts, interstitial, symbiotic, accounts, accountability, sustainability, multiple, speaking truth to power
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Accounting theory and standards
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Malpas, J (Professor Jeff Malpas)
ID Code:118791
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-07-20
Last Modified:2017-07-20

Repository Staff Only: item control page