A year ago I stumbled onto Dan Brown’s Inferno. To compare some of the quotes I opened a copy of Dante’s Inferno, not the video game, but the first book of the Commedia trilogy, and began to read the first lines:
“Midway along the journey of our life
I woke to find myself in some dark wood,
for I had wandered off from the straight path...”
Yes, I thought, I know what that’s like.
I kept reading and did not stop until weeks later, after I had drudged with Dante through Hell, climbed with him up the mountain of Purgatory, and blasted through the heavens to see Paradise.
“How hard it is to tell what it was like,
this wood of wilderness, savage and stubborn
(the thought of it brings back all my old fears),
a bitter place! Death could scarce be bitterer.
But if I would show the good that came of it
I must talk about things other than the good.”
Suddenly, it all made sense.