Raise your hand if you have read Dante’s Divine Comedy. Without looking it up, when was Paradiso finished?
1896, 1615, 806, 1321, 1736, or 2003.
I, after a long and for no good reason absence, returned to my read of Paradiso this week. What a poem, what a vision. To make it really unbelievable, Dante’s heaven doesn’t have an Intranet.
Giuseppe Mazzotta in his essay “Life of Dante” writes, “Many are the reasons why generations of readers have found the story of Dante’s life compelling. His relentless self-invention as an unbending prophet of justice and a mythical quester for the divine is certainly one important reason.”
Talk about writing with purpose. I would think his strong purpose took away procrastination. Perhaps inventing the character we are is as necessary as the others we invent. Maybe too we need a white horse or, the least, a helmet.
Does writing need reason? I am beginning to think it does. Where have I been?