I’ve been reading Danté’s “Divine Comedy” (with companion books of the Doré and Blake illustrations of Danté) and it strikes me that this needs updating. It’s a book that everyone knows about, but hardly anybody reads.
To introduce it, Danté goes on a journey, first through all the levels of the inferno, where he sees all the types of suffering inflicted on sinners, and he talks to people he has known who are suffering the various punishments. Likewise in purgatory, where people are able to recover from their previous sins and redeem themselves after many centuries of cleansing. Then paradise, and through the different and higher heavenly levels. In the inferno and purgatory, he is guided by the poet Virgil, and then by his love Beatrice in Paradise.
How can we update this ?
The hero could be guided by a committee of Faust, Gawain, Dante and Bloom, and would see the following sad scenes, and sadly mock them …… (Dante didn’t have some of these in his time)
Who should now be sent to hell ?
- the people (theosophists) who have read and understood (and given lectures on) the Bhagavad Gita, and who then go and join the battle anyway (indeed, who have their own battlefield and special times for battles)
- premium product Patricia – she buys a new premium product every time, as they must be better, but she can’t ever remember what she has tried before
- the obese, transforming good food into shit, playing a video game and watching "flog it" simultaneously
- traffic offenders – queue jumpers, people who block box intersections, park on red routes, etc
Now you can join in ! Please add your favourite candidates for hell to the forum ! I will add the best suggestions to this page ……
The Printed and Illustrated Versions
I've got a very normal translation in Penguin books, where he translates it very carefully and with many footnotes. I'm not sure if Danté was settling scores or serious - he comes over as very serious in this version, and I suspect he wasn't, but maybe a certain style was expected of him.
I'd be interested to hear reports of other translations
I have two illustrated versions so far, and I'd like to get more !
- William Blake is a genius
- Gustav Doré is very good, and may go to the edge of parody at times
- I've discovered there are some comic book versions - I may have to get those too !
all your contriburions are welcome !