Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer Reading: Inferno (canto 16)

A trio of “sodomites” recognize Dante's Tuscan accent & ask him how the city of Florence fares. Dante must reply that it's riven by political dissent. Sinners like these gay men aren't simply defined by wickedness, even in Hell. They're citizens and partisans, and they reflect some better aspect of Florence than currently (c. 1310) existed, in Dante's opinion. Unlike most poets, he's happy to comment on current events in his work, even though the purpose of his Comedy is to chart an eternal cosmic hierarchy. It makes the book both intimate & relevant to his contemporaries.

No comments: