Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Dante's smile

Another excerpt from "The Dante Club" (slightly shortened):
>>"There is a story that Boccaccio tells of a woman in Verona where Dante was staying during his exile. She saw Dante and pointed him out to another woman, saying, 'That's Alighieri, the man who goes to Hell whenever he pleases and brings back news of the dead.' The other replied, 'Very likely. Don't you see what a dark face he has? Owing to the heat and smoke!' This made Dante smile. Do you know why I doubt the story's veracity?", Lowell continued. "Perhaps because this woman would not know of the contents of Dante's poem, " Sheldon postulated. "I do not for a second believe that Dante smiled", Lowell answered.<<

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