Dante, The Divine Comedy
I read the Inferno and thought it was beautiful and finished it in two days, so I went and bought a copy of the whole Divine Comedy. I can’t figure out why the only teach The Inferno in schools. It is only 1/3 of the book. It would be like if they stopped a play at the end of the first act. I liked The Inferno, but the Purgatorio and the Paradiso were each better than the last. The ending which I won’t spoil, was nothing short of sublime.
After reading the Greeks, Dante feels like landing comfortably in a world I am familiar with. I realize so much of my sense of morality and so much of my understanding of non-earthly things are based around Christian values, and it's crazy to see all the little things that you thought were 'wrong' about Greek society are suddenly remedied in Dante and Augustine. I'm so comfortable in the ideas of Christian morality. They feel like home, even as a non-believer.
I expected Dante’s descent into Hell to be a personal journey, but he acts as an immovable observer while we view the sins of others. He is so comforting about his compassion for each person he encounters, no matter where he is: hell, purgatory, whatever. He's like, 'it's not my place to judge.' This is the first book I've read where I feel like I'm missing out because I'm not reading it in the original language. My copy of the Inferno had the Italian right next to the English, and you could see even without understanding all the fun structural things he did that the English version didn't attempt. Then I switched to a different translation for the following two books at my local bookstore, and everything was different one more time. Translation must be super difficult. I think about that all the time. I wouldn't say I like it when translators use more modern words. It's like you shouldn't have done that.
I also wanted to note everything I've read since The Metamorphosis, I’ve done while sitting in the garden watching Artie chase birds. I feel one with nature and very tan, and it's very calming to do so. I had a terrible dream last night, and in the middle of the night, I realized how grateful I am for every single thing in my life right now, and I have never been close to as happy as I am in my life as right now. Everything is just total bliss. I'm trying not to make a big deal of anything lately, which is helping because I think this time of uncertainty could be more stressful if I dwell for too long. I am just appreciating that the God's are letting me read, which they don't always do. My #1 want right now is to stick with this project, but I'm not thinking about it too hard because all I can control is this moment and the desires of this moment, and I want to savor it.