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'

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dante, The Divine Comedy, Hell, II, 52-73

LA DIVINA COMMEDIA  di  Dante Alighieri

Canto II
(Virgilio incontra Beatrice)

   Io era tra color che son sospesi,
e donna mi chiamò beata e bella,
tal che di comandare io la richiesi.

   Lucevan li occhi suoi più che la stella;
e cominciommi a dir soave e piana,
con angelica voce, in sua favella:

   ``O anima cortese mantoana,
di cui la fama ancor nel mondo dura,
e durerà quanto 'l mondo lontana,

   l'amico mio, e non de la ventura,
ne la diserta piaggia è impedito
sì nel cammin, che vòlt' è per paura;

   e temo che non sia già sì smarrito,
ch'io mi sia tardi al soccorso levata,
per quel ch'i' ho di lui nel cielo udito.

   Or movi, e con la tua parola ornata
e con ciò c'ha mestieri al suo campare,
l'aiuta sì ch'i' ne sia consolata.

   I' son Beatrice che ti faccio andare;
vegno del loco ove tornar disio;
amor mi mosse, che mi fa parlare.


G. Doré

The Divine Comedy

by  Dante Alighieri

[translated  by  James Finn Cotter]

Canto II
(Virgil meets Beatrice)

      "I was among those spirits in suspense:
          A lady called me, so beautiful and blessed
          That I at once implored her to command me.
           "Her eyes outshone the light of any star.
          Sweetly and softly she began to speak
          With the voice of an angel, in her own words:
            " 'O courteous spirit from Mantua
          Whose fame has lasted in the world till now
          And shall endure as long as does the world,
           " 'My friend, who is no longer fortune's friend,
          On a wasted slope has been so thwarted
          Along his path that he turns back in panic.
            " 'I fear that he already is so lost
           I have arisen too late to bring him aid —
          At least from what I hear of him in heaven.
          " 'Hasten now, and with your polished words
          And all that is required for his rescue,
          Help him, so that I can be consoled.
           " 'I am Beatrice who urges you to journey,
          Come from a place to which I long to return.
          Love moved me to speak my heart to you.


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