Tag Archives: weightless


25 Feb

An emblem I chose to describe Lightness is a feather. Aside from the common expression, “light as a feather,” I do believe that a feather embodies the¬†epitome of Lightness.

Not only are feathers light on their own accord but they also enable birds and ducks to achieve the ultimate status of lightness: flight. This attribute is enough to exemplify the reasoning behind a feather as an emblem of Lightness, however, I prefer to focus on the feather as a single unit, exclusive of its function for flight. The feather is almost weightless when held and when floating through the air flutters down to the ground in an unpredictable and slow drifting manner.

Despite the structural integrity of a feather, its lightness remains, and its structure is what allows it to be light. The simplistic structure of the feather brings to mind Lightness because the simpler something is, the less complex or cumbersome, and therefore the less it weighs, if only conceptually or hypothetically.

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,¬†the 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.