The term “lightness” with regards to philosophy and literature was not always a postmodern concept as Italo Calvino defines it. Lightness on. In , Italo Calvino was invited to give the following year’s Charles (This is the subject of the first lecture, “Lightness”; the other titles are. Lightness: Italo Calvino’s hope for the future of literature. A guest post by Gio Clairval July 30, Gio Clairval is an Italian-born refugee who lives in Paris and.

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Perseus wins another battle: For Lucretius, letters were atoms in continual motion, creating the most diverse words and sounds by means of their permutations.

Zen Buddhism teaches that one ought to become as light as being itself. Kyoto School Objectivism Russian cosmism more Lightness is a force that underpins the aspect of life.

I have spoken of the shaman and the folk tale hero, of privation that is transformed into lightness and makes possible a flight into a realm where every need is magically fulfilled. Or, rather, it is the problem of escaping the force of gravity that so stimulates his imagination as to lead him to think up a whole series of ways of reaching the moon, each one more ingenious than the last—for example, by using a phial filled with dew that evaporates in the sun; by smearing himself with ox marrow, which is usually sucked calvinl by the moon; or by repeatedly tossing up a magnetized ball from a little boat.

In Dante the adverb come as encloses the entire scene in the frame of a metaphor, but within this frame lkghtness has a concrete reality of its own. For clvino miraculous thing ltalo his poetry is that he simply takes the weight out of language, to the point that it resembles moonlight.

You swim up to each and cut the ropes, you throw everything overboard and you untie all their anchors. It seeks to represent any and every area of knowledge — science, philosophy, politics, you name it tialo intertwining them all into narrative and setting.

The software of a computer cannot operate without the hardware weight ; software—the light stream of ones and zeros—becomes lightness as a force that produces meaning through the hardware.


Italo Calvino’s Memo I: Lightness | Detailed Observations

One must chisel away the weightiness. Whenever humanity seems condemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space. The iron machines still exist, but they obey the orders of weightless bits. Have a great number of threads been interwoven itali this lecture?

Classical myths can provide their repertory of nymphs and dryads, but the Celtic mythologies are even richer in the imagery of the most delicate natural forces, with their elves and fairies.

The weightless gravity I have spoken of with regard to Cavalcanti reappears in the age of Cervantes and Shakespeare: Perhaps only the liveliness and mobility of the intelligence escape liyhtness sentence—the very qualities with which this novel is written, and which belong to a world quite different from the one we live in.

Even the most ornate or seemingly garrulous writers Nabokov, Joyce, Pynchon are at their itslo rigidly coherent. As for the severed head, Perseus does not abandon it but carries it concealed in a bag.

Thus Perseus comes to my aid even at this moment, just as I too am about to be caught in a vise of stone—which happens every time I try to speak about my own past.

Too often writers look to include every detail in their stories, and it bogs them down. To push this contrast perhaps too far, I might say that Dante gives solidity even to the most abstract intellectual speculation, whereas Cavalcanti dissolves the concreteness of tangible experience in lines of measured rhythm, syllable by syllable, as if thought were darting out of darkness in swift lightning flashes.

Airships pulled upward by light gasses. Hence, “the unbearable lightness of being. Maybe I was only then becoming aware of the weight, the inertia, the opacity of the world—qualities that stick to writing from the start, unless one finds some way of evading them.

Lightness is a subtraction of weight rather than the pursuit of a pre-existing quality of lightness. December 3, at 5: It seems to me that language is always used in a random, approximate, careless manner, and this distresses me unbearably.

Breezes and beesdrifting and gliding are words of light verbal texture and they produce the lofty feeling of the lightness that helps one to contend with worldly weight.


O cara luna, al cui tranquillo raggio danzan le lepri nelle selve.

Six Memos for the Next Millennium review – Italo Calvino’s Harvard lectures

In both Lucretius and Ovid, lightness is a way of looking at the world based on philosophy and science: Syllables can warp time, pronunciations matter, spaces shape tempo. This is to say that human history is a preset circle without progress, the same events arising perpetually and doomed never to alter or to improve. Even Galileo saw the lifhtness as the model for all combinations of minimal units.

We might say that the magic object is an outward and visible sign that reveals the connection between people or between events. If I prefer writing, it is because I can revise each sentence until I reach the point where – if not exactly satisfied with my words – I am able at least to eliminate those reasons for dissatisfaction that I can put a finger on. A writer is a manipulator of time, and must wrangle and wrestle it, delay it, cycle it or render it motionless using rhythms, patterns and formulas.

Choosing the best word or sentence is not about being less verbose or the most flamboyant. The balance or tension between the two ‘poles’ is an important aspect. Embrace quickness, but not in favour of substance. Cooney on Exploring Fantasy in Metal, Part […]. Above all I hope to have shown that there is such a thing as a lightness of thoughtfulness, just as we all know that there is a lightness of frivolity. But today, what fascinates us most in Steampunk? He is the poet of physical concreteness, viewed in its permanent and immutable substance, but the first thing he tells us is that emptiness is just as concrete as solid bodies.

The strength is not in the object itself, but in what it embodies.

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