Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Reading: Inferno (canto 8)

Dante notices that the Stygian ferry only draws water when he's aboard—a subtle reminder that Virgil's an insubstantial spirit like the rest of the damned. They're represented this canto by an arrogant Florentine, Filippo Argenti, who gets singled out for abuse—first verbally by Dante, who knew the guy personally, and then physically (spiritually?) by the skiff's crew! It docks at Dis, the great city of the Fallen Angels of Hell. From the parapets, they jeer at Dante for risking his still-living spirit and move to bar the gates. For the first time, Virgil seems worried…

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