Category Archives: Dante

“Appetite, an universal wolf”

Here’s a literary puzzle I hope someone can solve for me. In the opening Canto of Dante’s Inferno, the narrator encounters a ravening she-wolf (una lupa, I.49), which Virgil shortly describes as follows: “[ella] ha natura si malvagia e ria / … Continue reading

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Dante’s Virtuous Pagans

One of the most striking theological innovations (perhaps more so even than the “Neutrals”) in Dante’s Commedia is his inclusion in Limbo of, not just “little children,” but also of formerly pagan “men and women.” The classic doctrine of Limbo — … Continue reading

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Eliot’s Inferno

In The Waste Land, Eliot observes, “Unreal City / Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, / A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, / I had not thought death had undone so many” (lines 6o-3). The last … Continue reading

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The Confessions of Prufrock and Guido

Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” has for an epigraph a quotation from Dante’s Inferno 27, on the lips of Guido da Montefeltro: “S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse / A persona che mai tornasse al mondo, / Questa fiamma staria … Continue reading

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