Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Inferno / Dante Alighieri / 352 pgs

Since I read the Barnes and Nobles classic paperback version, I am putting the page count at 352. It seems that the hardcover versions on Goodreads often have over 400 pages, and I feel that must be because a lot of extra commentary and footnotes are present that were not on my version. So, Dante is just one of those classic authors I never got around to reading. I'm certain my literature textbooks had excerpts from The Divine Comedy, but his writings were never assigned to me, and I never had the interest to read him until now, despite the interest I've always had in religious ideas of the afterlife.

What can I say? It was VERY Italian. It seemed almost everyone Dante meets in Hell are Italians, including a couple of popes. Of the few names I knew, they mostly were other great writers whom Dante meets in the limbo on the very outskirts of the nine circles of hell - people who never knew God so never outright rejected him and never committed sins great enough to merit Hell. Dante liberally inserts people who likely never existed, mostly those fictional characters from the writings of Homer, and treats them as if they were real. Dante's guide is the poet Virgil. All in all, I'm very glad I read The Inferno. I now own it, since I picked it up from the Book Sale Ladder in the foyer of Spencer Road. I hope I'll get a chance to read Purgatorio and Paradiso at some point in the near future.

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