O.Wilde, Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. (...)
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. (...)

No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. (...)
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.
When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself...

O. Wilde (1854-1900),
Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

Friday, May 06, 2011

Dante, The Divine Comedy, Hell, I, 31-60

LA DIVINA COMMEDIA di  Dante Alighieri

Canto I
(Le tre bestie.)

   Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l'erta,
una lonza leggiera e presta molto,
che di pel macolato era coverta;
   e non mi si partia dinanzi al volto,
anzi 'mpediva tanto il mio cammino,
ch'i' fui per ritornar più volte vòlto.
   Temp' era dal principio del mattino,
e 'l sol montava 'n sù con quelle stelle
ch'eran con lui quando l'amor divino
   mosse di prima quelle cose belle;
sì ch'a bene sperar m'era cagione
di quella fiera a la gaetta pelle
   l'ora del tempo e la dolce stagione;
ma non sì che paura non mi desse
la vista che m'apparve d'un leone.
   Questi parea che contra me venisse
con la test' alta e con rabbiosa fame,
sì che parea che l'aere ne tremesse.
   Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame
sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza,
e molte genti fé già viver grame,
   questa mi porse tanto di gravezza
con la paura ch'uscia di sua vista,
ch'io perdei la speranza de l'altezza.
   E qual è quei che volontieri acquista,
e giugne 'l tempo che perder lo face,
che 'n tutti suoi pensier piange e s'attrista;
   tal mi fece la bestia sanza pace,
che, venendomi 'ncontro, a poco a poco
mi ripigneva là dove 'l sol tace.

Dante running from the three beasts
by  William Blake

The Divine Comedy

by  Dante Alighieri

[translated  by  James Finn Cotter]

Canto I
(The three beasts)

 But look! right near the upgrade of the climb
          Loomed a fleet and nimble-footed leopard
          With coat completely covered by dark spots!
             He did not flinch or back off from my gaze,
          But blocking the path that lay before me,
          Time and again he forced me to turn around.
             The hour was the beginning of the morning,
          And the sun was rising with those stars
          That first attended it when divine Love
              Set these lovely creations round in motion,
          So that the early hour and the pleasant season
          Gave me good reason to keep up my hopes
             Of that fierce beast there with his gaudy pelt.
          But not so when — to add now to my fears —
             In front of me I caught sight of a lion!
             He appeared to be coming straight at me
          With head held high and furious for hunger,
          So that the air itself seemed to be shaking.
             And then a wolf stalked, ravenously lean,
          Seemingly laden with such endless cravings
          That she had made many live in misery!
             She caused my spirits to sink down so low,
          From the dread I felt in seeing her there,
          I lost all hope of climbing to the summit.
             And just as a man, anxious for big winnings,
          But the time comes instead for him to lose,
          Cries and grieves the more he thinks about it,
             So did the restless she-beast make me feel
          When, edging closer toward me, step by step,
          She drove me back to where the sun is silent

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