Sunday, September 26, 2010

Summer Reading: Inferno (canto 29)

Once again, Dante weeps at the sight of so many damned souls; once again, Virgil chastises him for his too-soft heart & reminds him that all the torture is divinely ordered. This repetition reminds me that Dante's in-poem self is a medieval character, not a modern one: his essence doesn't change. But in this Christian context (& the allegorical style of medieval narrative), Dante's tears & mercy ally him with the Son of God. So, clockwise and down into the final Malebolge, where alchemists, counterfeitors, & other con artists are literally plagued: covered with diseased scabs & festering sores.

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