Saturday, April 13, 2013
The Unbearableness of Lightness
Sabina says that the source of her melancholy does not come from the heaviness of a burden, but instead and unbearable lightness of being. While this statement addresses the fact that being light is perhaps an unhealthy lifestyle for Sabina, it also gives insight into the title of the book, which then poses the question: what makes lightness unbearable? Well, my take is that lightness is unbearable because it implies a lifestyle where there is nothing to bear. Lightness is unbearable because there is nothing to bear, because it creates a void in one's life. Lightness hence introduces an individual to his or her despair in a way opposite to heaviness, which ironically, we equivocate with an unbearable burden when in fact that burden is only seemingly unbearable. Seeing it this way, I think living heavy has a few advantages over living light, because at least you can feel the weight of your life and experiences rather than nothing at all. Likewise, this relates very closely to all our discussions of the nihilist and existential components of this novel.