Thursday, September 29, 2016

Burn Baby Burn Dante's Inferno

Burn the mother down?

Alternate Title: The Graphic Novel as Imagined By Dante Alghieri.

If I could wrap my head around the idea of eternity (and I can't because it's difficult enough to imagine even larger finite numbers realistically, like how long would it take a person to count to 1 million?) then perhaps Heaven and Hell would hold more... fear and awe?  So theoretically if you're going to portray Hell in a way that might sway someone's behavior you would want to make it seem so horrible that even a minute would be unbearable.  OR... OR... I don't know... maybe that's easier than portraying Hell as tedium but think how painful it could be sitting doing fuck all forever.  A day or two might be blissful.  Not "might be."  It is blissful.  I've done it.  It's fucking great.  I don't think it would be so cool forever though.  

Anyhoo, I don't know what Signore Alghieri was up to here, and you can click on his name above for the full collection, but he seems to have the imagination of a clever 12 year old.  Or maybe he was playing to an audience of 12 year olds.  Or maybe illustration just wasn't his strong suit, but it seems to me that Hieronymus Bosch did a much better job a couple centuries later in portraying the horrors of Hell.  His Heaven & Hell triptychs still scare the shit out of me.  The hell out of me?  


To be fair, he probably didn't do them himself.  There were also later manuscripts illustrated by Boticelli, William Blake, and even Salvador Dali weighed in.  All were... superior.  

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