Eating Pasta Al Dante

Having now finished reading Dante's Commedia twice, I feel about Dante a little bit like he seems to have felt about Virgil. I respect it, I value it, I enjoy it, but it can only take one so far. The retrograde mental universe makes it ultimately irredeemable beyond a certain point. All the valiant hermeneutics of modern commentators cannot save it, anymore than Beatrice could've saved Virgil. He had it in him to transcend the narrow spheres of his Christianity, and at times comes so close to doing just that. He almost half wants to. But even in Inferno IV or Purgatorio I or Paradiso XIX, he never quite manages. He never quite breaks through Heaven's man-made ceiling, and so damns himself to the Limbo of the Virtuous Enthralled. It is only by going down there that one can meet him, and the only way out is by descending into the Catholicism's hellish soteriology, and facing the hybrid Angeldemons that populate the bowels of a Paradise he very nearly condemned himself to.

No comments:

Post a Comment