November 2: The Audacity of Audacity

One of the things that characterizes really great people in any field, I think, is that they're conscious of their greatness. They have to be, or how would they dare to do what only the great can do?


The problem is that one of the things that characterizes crazy people is that they're also conscious of their greatness. And, speaking for myself anyway, I have a default setting of preferring false modesty to no modesty at all. Dante, however, doesn't agree, as we find in this moment in the Inferno. Dante is hanging out in Limbo with Virgil and Homer and Horace -- you know, famous classical poets whose names are now given to the kids of eccentric parents at your preschool:
When they together short discourse had held,
They turn’d to me, with salutation kind
Beckoning me; at the which my master smiled:
Nor was this all; but greater honour still
They gave me, for they made me of their tribe;
And I was sixth amid so learn’d a band.
In other words, is Dante the equal of Virgil and Homer? Sure he is -- just ask him! He's a mouthy entertainer, like Terrell Owens or Shaq or someone like that. Or John Lennon, although Dante takes pains to let you know he's less popular than Jesus.

Limbo smees like a nice place, by the way. The only drawback, according to Virgil, is "that we live/Desiring without hope." It's just like Hollywood! (And so many people think Hollywood's close to Hell already.)

3 comments:

Lisa Simeone said...

Chris, do you know the work of Dario Fo? You would really love him (maybe already do).

Delicious said...

I do not know
Mr. Dario Fo
I'm worse than po'
On Dario Fo
And like Van Gogh
I lend no ear to
Ol' Dario Fo.

Lisa Simeone said...

Oh, no, oh, no,
Do not
Diss Po!
If so
You will be
Full of woe!

For Po's sublime,
Man out of time,
Of language rich,
Exquisite pitch,
He runs skewers through
Ev'l-doers true
And certainly politicians, too!

His grammelot
Is sho'nuff Fo
Although, you know,
Credit must go
To one fine beau:
Beolco
Angelo!

(That's the Italian way of doing it anyway; in English we'd call him Angelo Beolco. Sorry, I tried to think of how to work a rhyme with "Frasier" in there somewhere, but I'm so nervous on this Election Day I just can't spend any more time on this. Take it from me -- you would love Dario Fo!)