Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Reading: Inferno

Canto 1
Dante, 36 years old (my age!), has experienced a life crisis; as a poet, he's compelled to write about his recovery. It takes the narrative form of getting lost in an eerie valley and threatened by wild beasts—a vivid metaphor that rings true to anyone who's struggled with depression. But his description, despite its precision and liveliness, has the tone of a dream, especially the way his hero, the Roman poet Virgil, appears from nowhere to guide him to safety.

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