Beatrice--Snide and Smug

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Here's an example of what I spoke of before. Beatrice speaks to Dante:

from Paradiso
Dante (tr. John Ciardi)

"Are you surprised that I smile at this childish act
of reasoning?" she said, "since even now
you dare not trust your sense of the true fact,

but turn, as usual back to vacancy?

Charming. Simply charming. There's nothing to inspire love and admiration like some smug, self-righteous, overly informed combatant smiling at your stupidity and then telling you so. I'm supposd to be enchanted/enthralled by this? Color me appalled.

Fortunately Dante's goal was not entirely to make me love Beatrice as he did. If so, his cause is utterly lost. Unfortunately, I perceive that this guide to the celestial realms will not be nearly so convivial as our guide through the other two. We can expect to be laughed at, lectured sternly, and variously assaulted and accosted as we try to enjoy the scenery.

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And, centuries of Academia have continued to maintain and boast of the "virtues" of smugness and snidness. I guess they have the same ideals of paradise that Dante did.

So you're saying you're not a 14th Century Florentine?

On the conviviality front, I expect I would get along much better with someone from Limbo than with someone from Heaven.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on March 4, 2008 7:46 AM.

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