Dante in Love

Currently reading ‘Dante in Love’ (and have been for the last 5 years)…


“Beauty is a weapon of mass destruction…encounters with beauty unsettle a person. Beauty is an imperative and a standard. It wipes away any excuse one has to be content with the ordinary. Beauty can and does change the world indelibly.”


Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
ché la diritta via era smarrita.

Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura
esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte
che nel pensier rinova la paura!

Tant’è amara che poco è più morte;
ma per trattar del ben ch’i’ vi trovai,
dirò de l’altre cose ch’i’ v’ho scorte.


Halfway through the story of my life
I came to in a gloomy wood, because
I’d wandered off the path, away from the light.

It’s hard to put into words to what that wood was;
I shudder even now to think of it,
so wild and rough and tortured were its ways;

And death might well be its confederate
in bitterness; yet all the good I owe
to it, and what else I saw there, I’ll relate.


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