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From: James Jordan <jbjordan4@home.com>
Subject: (whorl) Dante Thoughts
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 15:38:12 

At 11:43 AM 4/12/2001 -0500, Adam wrote:

>I like this, though I don't know if Wolfe intended it.  But surely Purgatory
>would be the Whorl _and_ Blue, with the conversation with Remora
>corresponding to the final purging of Dante's sins; and the undepicted
>voyage to the stars would be the Paradiso.  That would make either Seawrack
>or Nettle Beatrice; either would fit.  But who is Virgil, then?  Since
>Virgil left Dante at the end of the Purgatorio, the logical candidate would
>be Horn's spirit, which (as I've argued before) leaves Silk's body around
>this time; which would mean that it is Silk who corresponds to Dante.

         The logical candidate for Virgil is Oreb, especially since Oreb, 
while at one level a figure of the Holy Spirit, is throughout this time 
ridden by Scylla, a political and pagan type of character. True, Oreb is 
not left behind at the end, but Scylla has left him (right?).
         I wonder if more could be done with this. I recall that when Horn 
fell into the pit, in OBW, he says that this was the end of all his 
happiness. "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here"? Entrance into Inferno? 
The rest of Blue would be Limbus Patrum, Green would be Inferno proper, and 
Whorl would be Purgatorio.
         Beatrice would seem to be both Seawrack and Nettle, in that Horn 
and later the Narrator frequently think of both of them in idealized terms. 
The real-life Beatrice, for those who may not know, was a young girl that 
Dante fell in love with, though he and she were married. Nothing happened, 
of course, this being courtly-love. And then she died very young. She 
became his ideal and inspiration, and the departed literary-Beatrice 
conducts Dante through Paradisio after his journey with the "good pagan" 
Virgil through Inferno and Purgatorio.
         I suppose Mantis needs to produce a chapbook on literary allusions 
and underpinnings of the SS books, showing the Odyssey and Divina Commedia 
         Interesting. Wonder if Wolfe really intended it....?


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