03/28/2021 (Sun) 21:52:46
Patrician. Cervantes is a great author and a great man. Besides Don Quixote
, I think the best literary work (among many others, but still surpassing them all) is The Divine Comedy
. It's the masterpiece of Dante, written in the early 14th century. On the surface, the Comedy
is about Dante's journey from hell, through purgatory, to heaven; yet, as a product of the pre-humanistic high-scholastic period, the deeper (allegorical) meaning is about man's moral self-determination to reward or punishment in the afterlife; or in other words, his ultimate accountability to God. (Note that non-Christians, because they lack sanctifying grace, are necessarily placed in limbo, the first circle of hell and the only circle in hell of just souls without suffering.) Although the poem is filled with many references and allusions which need notes to be understood by a modern reader, it's worth persevering: no work of art has ever affected me as much and for the better.