Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dante's Disciples

I recently finished the 600-page anthology from 1998 entitled Dante's Disciples. It was billed as an anthology of writing inspired by Dante's Inferno. While most of the stories were hell-related, I was a little puzzled by the relation between some of them with the Inferno.

I think what troubled me about it was that the stories in the book, at least many of them, were quite pessimistic. I know, I know... what do you expect when reading about hell? But it isn't that. The thing is, I don't think the Inferno is pessimistic. In fact, it is from the Inferno that we get the notion of "poetic justice." Dante's work doesn't just wallow in pessimism. Instead, it seems to assign physical punishments precisely fitting to the infractions. That's half the fun of the tale there.

These stories, though, missed that distinction, for the most part. Not all, but some.

One thing going for them, though, is that many focused on hell as an earthly state. I do think that this idea is easily gotten out of the Inferno — that seems to be the point of "poetic justice," after all. We choose to live in a state here and now, and Dante's hell seems to be the eternal extension of the specific states we have chosen.

I didn't mind the anthology, actually, as far as stories go. But I did rather mind that the stories were supposed to be inspired by the Inferno, and yet many had very little connection with Dante at all. That was, for me, disappointing.

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Insurance Hassles

It's a coincidence that I received an assignment to write about insurance quoting services today, when I myself have just finished settling the bills for both my health and auto insurance. It is a headache every year at this time, with all of my insurance bills waiting to be paid, and none of them getting any cheaper.

I don't think I am the only person always eager to save money on insurance. That has to be a near universal desire. Fortunately, at Advantage, you can lower your insurance premium. And everything is available to you online, helping you avoid the running about I've had to do to get my things settled these past few days.

Check out Advantage, and prepare to seriously take Advantage of their competitive offers.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007


I read a friend's little write up on what makes her a good friend, and decided to play along too (it's fun!)

Here's what I was told after answering a few questions:

You Are a Good Friend Because You're Supportive

You are almost like a life coach for your best friends.

You give them help when they need it... but you also know when to give them a push.

People tend to rely on you for moral support and advice.

You've probably always been mature for your age, so this is a role that's you're comfortable with.

A friend like you is one of the rarest kinds.

You are both a good mentor and companion.

Your friends need you most when: They are confused or worried

You really can't be friends with: Someone who only wants to complain

Your friendship quote: "The only way to have a friend is to be one."

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