Tag Archives: light language

Experience

Calvino explains that there are three senses of Lightness. His first sense is lightness of language, described as ” meaning is conveyed through a verbal texture that seems weightless, until the meaning itself takes on the same rarefied consistency”. His third sense of lightness was described as  the sense of “a visual image of lightness that acquires emblematic value…”. As you noticed, I skipped the second sense. This is the sense of Lightness that I believe applies the heaviest to “Old School”. Calvino describes this sense as  the narration of a train of thought or psychological process. The entire novel is written as a narration of a train of thought. The boy narrates the entire story. This is where the story finds its most value. The reader only can see and think what the boy does. His language is simple and conveys the scenes with little complexity. The light language then embodies the work, making “Old School” a piece of light language. Although the language is light, the theme and meanings behind the story are far from light. Calvino says that the work with verbal lightness takes on that ‘same rarefied consistency’. “Old School” does not follow pattern. It is a novel that finds value in its self-identifying narrator’s ability to convey his most inner thoughts. The language is light, the novel has weight.

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