CALVINO LIGHTNESS PDF

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.

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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. This fact prevents one from believing things to be fleeting and worthless. Something which does not forever recur has its brief existence, and, once it is complete, the universe goes on existing, utterly indifferent to the completed phenomenon.

Since decisions do not matter, they are "light": they do not tie us down. However, at the same time, the insignificance of our decisions - our lives, or being - is unbearable. Hence, "the unbearable lightness of being. Weight or lightness? Parmenides posed it in the sixth century BC. One half of the opposition he called positive light, fineness, warmth, being , the other negative. We might find this division into positive and negative poles simple except for one difficulty: which one is positive, weight or lightness?

Parmenides responded that lightness is positive, weight negative. Kundera then questions "Was he correct or not? Kundera then asks, should one live with weight and duty or with lightness and freedom? Italo Calvino[ edit ] Similarly to Greek philosopher Heraclitus , for Italo Calvino , Lightness is the flexible; the weightless; the mobile; the connective; vectors as distinct from structures.

He saw Lightness as an important aspect of post-modern society and existence that should be celebrated; he, like Heraclitus, never viewed Lightness as negative, indeed he never ascribed any evaluative content to it. Calvino keenly explores the borderline between lightness and the superficial; he posits that a contemplative lightness may make light-heartnedness seem heavy and dim; the pursuit of lightness as a reaction to the dutifulness of life.

It simply communicates something which is only emblematic of lightness. In Six Memos he says that "It is true that software cannot exercise its powers of lightness except through the weight of hardware. But it is the software that gives the orders, acting on the outside world and on machines that exist only as functions of software and evolve so that they can work out ever more complex programs.

The iron machines still exist, but they obey the orders of weightless bits. This is defined in relation to Pullness or Garima [ disambiguation needed ], which concerns worldly weight and mass. Zen Buddhism teaches that one ought to become as light as being itself.

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Italo Calvino’s Memo I: Lightness

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. 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. He sets out to outline six such things, beginning with Lightness — perhaps the most poetic and delicate of all.

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Lightness (philosophy)

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. This fact prevents one from believing things to be fleeting and worthless. Something which does not forever recur has its brief existence, and, once it is complete, the universe goes on existing, utterly indifferent to the completed phenomenon. Since decisions do not matter, they are "light": they do not tie us down. However, at the same time, the insignificance of our decisions - our lives, or being - is unbearable.

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