Monday, May 5, 2014

Dante and a Few Corrupt Popes

In one of my all-time favorite movies, the hero decides to look for the truth on who runs the world. He goes to the central library, filled with redacted and edited books. These are held in a semi-living computer known as Zero.

The librarian, played by Sir Ralph Richardson, mutters that Zero has lost the 14th century. "Not much in the 14th century," he says, "just Dante and a few corrupt popes." His dismissive comment is one of the few humorous moments in the film.

But never underestimate the power of such a combo. In a generation denying their "relevance" or even unaware of their existence, their poison is still with us.

I remember reading my sister's volume of The Inferno as a child. The pictures really impressed me. What a threat to be held over the head of a child or an adult.

Deny it or not, it is still here, and the institution that preserves and promotes it, still influences a major part of the world. Business is still booming.

Watch Dante's Visionary Descent into Hell and Pope Boniface VIII - The Divine Comedy.


  1. Dante's Inferno used to be required high school reading. It isn't anymore. It's a shame because it is a frightening and impressive work.

  2. I'm sure that's the reason the country is falling apart. ;-)