Authenticity, temporality and the aesthetics of light writing in the unbearable lightness of being
Tan, Jeremy Sheng Ang
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
As Italo Calvino observes, over the years and literary periods, “two opposite tendencies have competed in literature.” The thematic and structural significance of the novel is, on one hand, often constructed with a “weight, density and concreteness” which mirrors the gravity of everyday reality, while on the other, is juxtaposed against “a weightless element that hovers above things like a cloud” (Calvino 15). I have found that this tension between weight and lightness should not be read just literally, but more importantly, functions as a metaphor and testament to the ambiguity and flux of our everyday lives. Should one quality ever be privileged over the other? If so, what are the possible consequences, and what would this signify about our essential ontology, or fundamental authenticity as human beings?
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University