The Divine Comedy has its end, after 3X9 spirals rendered in 100 evenly distributed cantos, and it’s about time my posts about the Poem wrap up too. The big question that’s kept me on BIG OTHER: why should so complex a work, about places and beliefs that have long since ceased to matter, actually continue growing in impact, now nearly 700 years after it was completed? Earlier posts have raised that question, then looked at Inferno, then Purgatory, then Paradiso, and after that begun to provide an answer. Now, (with a last salute to Southwest Review, where all this appeared in very different form) I reach final conclusions.
My Universal Field Theory for the Poem’s continuing appeal hardly springs, full-grown, from my brow alone. Continue reading