Tag Archives: darkness

E-Lit Example

22 Feb

The E-Lit example I chose to represent Lightness is “in the white darkness: about [the fragility of] memory” by Reiner Strasser.

While the term “white darkness” is of course in itself contradictory,┬áthe name of the piece itself implies a great sense of Lightness. When thinking of darkness, one imagines being enveloped by blackness, where no or little light is found. The absence of light brings with it a sense of weight, a sense of being overwhelmed by the discomfort that is caused by the inability to see or sense what is around. Therefore, the name “white darkness” presents almost the antithesis of this weight of darkness- it implies what can be felt as a sheer veil of light. The difference between a true darkness with little or no light and a white darkness, to me, is that of perception. With true darkness, perception of other elements present is highly distorted if not impossible, whereas white darkness, while also a distortion of other elements, at least leaves the person experiencing it aware of the present elements.

As Calvino uses science to exemplify Lightness, so further can a connection between science, Lightness and this piece of E-Literature be made. Our memories function on a system of neurological connections and messages sent through passageways at fractions of seconds. The tiny impulses are another example like that of DNA that Calvino references with respect to Lightness. He says that he looks to science to nourish his visions in which all heaviness disappears. I feel as though our memories and quick neurological impulses are also a scientific instance in which heaviness disappears.

 

 

Not only can Lightness and science be found in the implicit and deeper meanings of “in the

white darkness” but so can Lightness be found in the aesthetics of the piece. The title itself lays the foundation for the

weightlessness that the piece bears, free from any capital letters, even though the letters of the words as part of the title. The page initially seen by the audience is that of a white screen with the letters of the title cut out, revealing an image beneath it- the E-Lit. Also seen are a series of small circles connected with curved lines, some solid, some dotted, that lead the audience to make the connection that these imply the brain’s function of a memory and the transmission of information along similar looking passages in our nervous systems. Finally, the revealed piece of E-Lit is a picture of linen curtains hanging in front of a window, blurring the view of what is outside, with an overlaid transparent screen that becomes more opaque, then more transparent, as if flashing slowly or throbbing. Also within the transparent layer are circles that with the throbbing motion seem to grow larger and smaller. These circles are meant to imply the spottiness of the mind of someone who is losing their memory and cannot gain a clear picture of what it is they are trying to recall.

http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/strasser_coverley__ii_in_the_white_darkness/index.html#top

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