Saturday, August 05, 2006

Divine Comedy



When I had journeyed half of our life's way,
I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray.
--Dante, The Comedy


I've read Dante. He wasn't very funny. But he wrote in Italian so something may have been lost in translation. Translations are like that. Idioms for example, fall very flat in some languages.

Oh, I know that Dante's Divine Comedy wasn't supposed to be funny. It was called a comedy because, at the time, that referred to literature written about common subjects in the venacular as opposed to more serious subjects (tragedies) written in Latin.

Not that most of you care. But you would if you picked up a copy of the Divine Comedy and expected Dave Barry. Most of it is just allegorical poetry about heaven, purgatory and HELL written in three sections that are each 33 cantos long. Dante liked the number 3. His HELL had 9 circles (3 x 3=9).

There are no apples in Dante's hell. In fact, the Bible doesn't really call out the apple as the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The apple was a symbol of desire in Greek mythology. So the serpent didn't tempt Eve with an apple. It's all BS!

Now that is comedy!

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