Above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and language
For Calvino, Perseus clearly shows lightness. As the rest of the world turns to stone from Medusa’s stare, Perseus, alone, is able to cut off Medusa’s head. Perseus is depicted with such lightness. He burdens himself with carrying around Medusa’s heavy head, but respects it with lightness.
Calvino’s emblem for lightness is Cavalcanti jumping over the tombstone. Calvino likes this image because it is the “secret” of the one who knows to use lightness. When the rest of the world is weighed down by the many words and noises of the the surrounding world, that person can pull out lightness and surprise everyone. Just as Cavalcanti quips a smart retort and then nimbly jumps over the tombstone.
Calvino gives three characteristics that make something light:
(1) it is to the highest degree light; (2) it is in motion; (3) it is a vector of information.
Calvino gives science as an excellent example of lightness. Science continues to prove that the foundations of life are made up of smaller and smaller elements; i.e. neurons and DNA. Even in computers, one computer, can hold billions of pieces of information, and the bulky hardware that holds it all continues to get lighter and lighter.
In literature, less words can often have more meaning. Calvino names Shakespeare when mentioning an author who implemented lightness. My favorite author who wrote “lightly” is Emily Dickinson. She is also my mother’s. My mom owns a large collection of Emily Dickinson poetry and would read them to my sister and I often.
One of my favorites is “I’m Nobody! Who are you?”
Dickinson uses few words to create a lot of meaning in her poems.