Calvino was offered the — term of the prestigious Charles Eliot Norton Professorship of Poetry at Harvard — an annual lectureship held by such luminaries as T. Calvino died weeks before he was scheduled to depart for Harvard to deliver his Norton lectures. But working on them, his wife recalls, was the obsession of his final months. In the foreword, Calvino considers what books alone can give us and writes:. My confidence in the future of literature consists in the knowledge that there are things that only literature can give us, by means specific to it.

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Lightness is a means of gaining perspective. Lightness is a force that propels. Changing perspective on the matters that weigh a person down is to alleviate the discomfort of that weight.

Calvino uses science to bolster his ideas. Lightness is a force that underpins the aspect of life. Calvino also uses the example of a shaman to describe lightness. These concepts are important for Calvino and his literary escapades. He views literature as a transformation of ideas, and he views lightness as a transfromative power.

Breezes and bees , drifting 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.

Why does Calvino write the six memos? To look for an overall definition of his work. Qualities that stick to writing from the start; interia, opacity of the world.

What is the Medusa myth considered an allegory to? Persesus rides the wind then uses the mirror to view his situation. The weightness of the world is supported by minute entities like DNA, atoms, etc. Lightness in these terms are small entities with forces that are seemingly more powerful than weight. 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.

An understanding of the world helps to keep the weight of the world from crushing people. How does thoughtful lightness make frivolity seem dull and heavy? How does Calvino describe the two contrasting tendencies in literature? One tries to make language a weightless element that hovers; the other tries to give language the weight, density and concreteness of things, bodies, sensations.

Does Calvino mean to imply that specific use of language can lead to a sense of lightness? Use of language such as: breeze, petal, bee, firm-but-light, nimble, etc.

Lightness in language, specifically the use of language that evokes the feeling of weightlessness, offers a transformation of interpretation. Through the use of lightness in language; poetic invention. By ridding the body of its psychological weight he could fly to another world, another level of perception, where he could find the strength to change the face of reality.

When I get time whenever that is! I will have to modify. Reblogged this on Anita Koster. Calvino and Kundera are my all time favorite. Anand Bose from Kerala. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading This might be a result of this older theme page.

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Italo Calvino’s Memo I: Lightness

February 2, by elementalaisha. These two tendencies toward literature proposed by Calvino, lightness and weight, represent the two poles of human nature: we either rise above the weight of humanity, the weight of the world, or we can succumb to it. For Calvino, the lightness of language can only be explained through the weight of the world, and in fact, this lightness comes from it. Perseus can only slay Medusa by indirect vision, through a mirror. But in slaying Medusa, her blood gives birth to the winged horse Pegasus pg. The weight of the world, while heavy and grotesque, lends itself to the lightness of its slayer who creates out of its weighty blood something airy and effervescent.


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

Lightness is a philosophical concept most closely associated with continental philosophy and existentialism , which is used in ontology. The term "lightness" varies in usage but is differentiated from physical weight, such as "the lightness of balsa wood". Lightness is also considered as a noun. Eternal Return dictates that all things in existence recur over and over again for all eternity. 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. Existence is thus weighty because it stands fixed in an infinite cycle.

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