The Unbearable Lightness, The Search for Gravity
A podcast recommendation, an audio excerpt from my Notre Dame lecture, and the launch of the Things Hidden book club Nov. 29
NB: Our “Things Hidden” book club will kick-off on Nov. 29. You can find a discussion board and link to our first gathering in the Anti-Mimetic community (inside of the members portal). Also: November’s Salon with Dr. Hollis Robbins will be this Thursday, Nov. 17, at 6pm EST.
Last week, my friend Artur Rosman at the University of Notre Dame casually told me about this episode of Entitled Opinions by Robert Harrison titled “Lightness and Heaviness in Art.” I listened on my flight back to DC and was enraptured. It is one of the best literary podcasts I have ever heard.
Harrison gives a beautiful monologue inspired by the Italian writer Italo Calvino’s memos on the things that will allow literature to endure into the 21st century, and beyond. These things include lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, multiplicity, and consistency.
I wonder if his commentary applies to more than literature, though. Once more people have listened to the episode, it’s something I’d like to have a conversation about.
Harrison, in his podcast, focuses on Calvino’s first memo, which is on lightness—and then adds his own commentary on the importance of heaviness. Regular readers of this newsletter will see the connection to thick desires.
(Harrison, by the way, also recorded this podcast on mimetic desire with René Girard himself—I encourage you to give it a listen, especially if you’ve never heard Girard explain his core idea in his own voice.)
Lastly, as promised, I’ve recorded an audio version of a small segment of my lecture at the Mendoza School of Business. It’s about the relationship between desire and the “four levels of happiness” framework, which distinguishes between the kinds of happiness that various objects of pursuit have the ability to bring us. I hope to record audio for more of these posts (eventually all of them, once I find some more help) for those of you who prefer to listen.
Here’s the lecture snippet:
Have a great rest of your weekend.