Monday, September 27, 2010

Summer Reading: Inferno (canto 30)

Add to the alchemists, counterfeitors and con artists of the tenth Malebolge impersonators (exemplified by Myrra, an Ovidian character who disguised herself to seduce her father) and misrepresentors (especially Potiphar's wife, who failed to seduce Joseph & so accused him of rape in Genesis). Fraud is the overarching sin of the Ninth Ring, and the most damnable fraud is false creation, a lie that impersonates or enacts a fiction and, in a sense, overwrites the truth. That's why Dante is so very careful to proclaim his creative cosmology as divinely ordained: the orthodox might accuse him of this very sin.

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