Tuesday, August 23, 2022


A Series of Dark Lines

Dante, Inferno 21.139 (he = the devil Malacoda; tr. John D. Sinclair):
And he made a trumpet of his rear.

ed elli avea del cul fatto trombetta.
F. Lippmann, ed., Zeichnungen von Sandro Botticelli zu Dantes Göttlicher Komödie, 2. Aufl. (Berlin: G. Grote'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1921), unnumbered page, illustration for Inferno XXI (note lower right-hand corner):
Paul Barolsky, "Dante's Infernal Fart and the Art of Translation," Arion 22.1 (Spring/Summer 2014) 93-101 (at 98):
At the right side of this diabolical band we see the devil that is unmistakably Malacoda. I say unmistakably, because Botticelli has depicted the black hole of the demon, what some translators refer to as his "asshole," and from it he pictures a series of dark lines that convey a rush of wind. These horizontal "motion-lines," that issue from the devil's buttocks become a kind of coda.


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