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January 7, 2006

All right, I know I’ve been neglecting this for the last two and a half weeks or so, and I should really post something like how my break went.  I promise I will, and soon, but right now it’s time for the second installment of excerpts from The Inferno!  Woohoo!


First, a fun fact about Dante: he was often called “the master of the disgusting.”  You’ll soon see why.  Also remember that this sort of language was much more frowned upon back then.


Without further ado:


 


“That chasm sinks so deep we could not sight


its bottom anywhere until we climbed


along the rock arch to its greatest height.


 


Once there, I peered down; and I saw long lines


of people in a river of excrement


that seemed the overflow of the world’s latrines.


 


I saw among the felons of that pit


one wraith who might or might not have been tonsured–


one could not tell, he was so smeared with shit.”


 


And one more:


 


“They turned down the left bank in a line;


but before they started, all of them together


had struck their pointed tongues out as a sign


 


to their Captain that they wished permission to pass,


and he had made a trumpet of his ass.


 


I have seen horsemen breaking camp, I have seen


the beginning of the assault, the march and muster,


and at times the retreat and riot.  I have been


 


where chargers trampled your land, O Aretines!


I have seen columns of foragers, shocks of tourney,


and running of tilts.  I have seen the endless lines


 


march to bells, drums, trumpets, from far and near.


I have seen them march on signals from a castle.


I have seen them march with native and foreign gear.


 


But never yet have I seen horse or foot


nor ship in range of land nor sight of star,


take its direction from so low a toot.”


 


That’s right.  A fart gag from a writer as highly renowned as Shakespeare.  You pretty much can’t get cooler than that.

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3 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    but such an elevated fart gag…

  2. Socrates calls this guy a bastard in mine…

  3. Wait, who do you mean by “this guy,” Dante?  Socrates predates Dante by quite some time, unless I’m deeply confused…. or is your book basically an amalgamation of figures throughout history interacting, as The Inferno is itself to a certain degree?
    Anyway, that’s pretty hilarious.

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