Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Reading: Inferno (canto 17)

Even to a modern imagination, used to seeing unreal creatures rendered through CGI, this episode is a triumph of the fantastic. At the precipice of the Seventh Circle, Virgil hails a massive demon called Geryon. The size of a barge, it's part man, part serpent, and part scorpion. Virgil & Dante mount the beast and ride it off the cliff into the void! Adding to the tension, Dante thinks of Icarus & Phaeton, two mythic flyers who tumbled to their deaths. But Geryon wheels down to the next ring like a falcon, depositing a terrified Dante safely at Ring #8.

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