Rubrica a cura di Sinclair de Courcy Williams – Talking Dante – Episode 7
Talking Dante. Episode 7
We discover (scopriamo) much later (in Inferno Canto XVI) that during his night of passion in the dark wood (selva) Dante was wearing a chord (corda) around his waist. In Dante’s day wearing such a chord was an indication of one thing only (di una sola cosa): that he had some kind of connection with St. Francis (San Francesco). There is a problem here, however. St. Francis loved nature, he loved the woods (i boschi) and more than anything else (più di ogni altra cosa) he wanted to live in peace in the selva, which is continuously mentioned by name in the legends about his life written by his followers. Another strange link (legame) is that they both have a meeting with a wolf – St. Francis in Gubbio, Dante in Inferno, Canto I 48 – 63). St. Francis tamed (domò, rese mansueto, docile) his wolf; but it is more than obvious that Dante would never have been able to do as much (non avrebbe mai potuto fare altrettanto) with his lupa (she-wolf).
We are in no doubt either (neanche) that Dante was genuinely terrified by his experience in the selva, which is very clearly to him a place of unmitigated (totale, assoluto) anguish (angoscia) and suffering. At first glance (a prima vista, apparentemente) it would seem that the two men had nothing at all in common (in comune). How to explain then the connection between them?
We will look into (esaminare) that fascinating question next week.