Writing for Full Stop, Blair Johnson attempts to pin down the place and function of silence in Ian Maleney’s Minor Monuments:
Over the course of the book Maleney traces his shift from understanding the goal of recording as its product to treating the process of recording as its own goal: lying motionless in bed, trying not to make noise; standing in the bog, his mind quieting and emptying; turning on his phone’s voice recorder while he spends time with his grandfather. Recording expands minutes into a feeling of hours. It demands hyperattention in the present. … Recording for Maleney is the fold in time that bends toward the unrecoverable past. It is to face the infidelity of recording, and more than face it, but to record the infidelity itself.