Monday, November 12, 2007

The Good Haunting - Comfort from Reading Dante

I compose in the spirit of one who offers to compare short letters with other readers. This is therefore a personal essay. If you have got got got ever been rejected or misunderstood (and who hasn't?), you may go on as I did that certain lines vibrate with a comfortableness that come ups from afar and attacks near; lines that weren't written specifically for your status but for a adult male who died excommunicate for unfair political reasons; a adult male wandering the less inclines of the Saddle Horse of Purgatory, yearning to be allow in to where he tin get his acclivity towards blessedness; a adult male who trusts and believes that the rejection will not last forever.

Per lor maladizion Systeme International d'Unites non Systeme International d'Unites perde

che non possa tornar l'etterno amore

mentre che lanthanum speranza hour angle fior del verde.

[By their curse word none is so lost

that the ageless love cannot return

while hope is yet green.]

Purgatorio, III, 133-5

Or if you have tried to state a truth and establish that people won't listen, or that they listen but incrimination you for telling it; if you have made yourself unpopular or got yourself a name for being "extremist" - this can actually happen in my state to anyone who recommends self-government for the United Kingdom - then you can comfort yourself that some things necessitate to be said for the interest of one's self-respect, for the interest of the record if nil else.

e s'io aluminum vero boy timido amico,

temo di perder viver tra coloro

che questo pacing chiameranno antico.

[and if to truth I am a timid friend,

I fear to lose life among those

who will name these modern times ancient.]

Paradiso, XVII, 118-20

Good adequate when taken in isolation, the lines addition immeasurably from being read in their context. You will happen gemstone after gemstone that you can clinch to your ain bosom as you ocean trip through the Godhead Comedy. In a bigger sense, apart from the hoarded wealths of specific lines, you will meet a rare phenomenon in literature - what one might name 'spooky goodness': the sense of the Numinous, the haunting of the divine. The tremble of awe that is much easier to accomplish with baleful effect, in narratives of horror and the supernatural, or in the enormousnesses and the conceptual discoveries of scientific discipline fiction, is achieved in Dante Alighieri perhaps most of all in his Purgatorio - and perhaps most of all on the Saddle Horse of Purgatory's less slopes, where psyches wander who for some ground (delay in repentance, disregard of their duties, exclusions that were unfair but still have got some effect) are not yet allowed to get their proper acclivity of the mountain.

They are saved souls, but they must wait their time. Future beatitude expects them and one can experience it seeping towards them, immanent in the landscape. The mood-effect is extraordinary. Perhaps the lone other writer I cognize to have got achieved anything like it is Degree Centigrade Second Jerry Lee Lewis in some parts of Perelandra.

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