Dorothy Sayers, letter to James Welch (July 25, 1946), in The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers
, Vol. III: 1944-1950. A Noble Daring
, ed. Barbara Reynolds (The Dorothy L. Sayers Society, 1998), pp. 248-249 (at 249):
The trouble with Dante is that, if one once gets a taste for him, one is liable to become a Dante-addict. He acts like a drug — or rather, like an attack of rabies; the people who are bitten rush madly about biting all their friends. Beware of him. If you once come under the spell he will haunt your imagination, lay violent hands on your theology, intrude into your sermons and seep through your most casual conversation like a dye. But very likely you will escape the fever. To many people he seems dry as a stone and to others he is actively repulsive.
Hat tip: Ian Jackson.