One other thing I meant to include.
During Dante's (pilgrim) visit with them it is Paolo who weaps the entire
time, not Francesca.
McIntosh, NM, USA
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Seddon" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2002 4:48 PM
Subject: Re: Thoughts on "La Figlia che Piange"
> Paolo Valesio on page 71 of his essay in Mandelbaum's Inferno commentary
> says; "Dante wants to draw attention to the contagion of literature not
> only on the two readers Paolo and Francesca, but also on the vast
> (both synchronic and diachronic) of readers---what rhetoricians call the
> universal audience."
> Francesca and Paulo are involved in a flirtation. They begin to read a
> and then they read no more that day. In bursts Francesca's old man and
> kills them both. Sounds like a scene a troubadour would have wanted. Of
> course Bertran de Born. the greatest troubadour of all, is condemned to
> ninth pouch (?) of the Maleborge, the eighth circle, pretty far down.
> Francesca and Paolo are both only in circle 2 of Limbo. They did not even
> cross the Styx into the city of Dis and true Hell. In circle 2 they
> sinned enough to get into the Inferno. They are just beyond the part of
> Limbo which is Virgil's own home for eternity. The circle they are in is
> sins of incontinence. Their punishment is exclusion from God's Grace.
> I think Marcia cuts through to the quick of the matter by refocusing the
> examination on the book. It is the book which Francesca claims got her
> killed and into hell. I would say think about the book and its
> The two lovers will live eternity together as all lovers poetically want
> that perhaps is the cruelest punishment of all. :>) As myth tries to tell
> over and over; don't ask the Gods for something you can't afford to live
> with. I don't understand your comment that they are separated. Pinsky
> gives as lines 73-75 of canto 5 where Dante (pilgrim) first sees Francesca
> and Paolo:
> " 'Poet,' I told him, 'I would willingly
> Speak with those two who move along together
> And seem so light upon the wind.' And he:"
> Francesca and Paolo are together for eternity.
> After I reread Valesio I might have more.
> Rick Seddon
> McIntosh, NM, USA
> Rick Parker said:
> > Possibly. And possibly there was no hunt for a statue either. But
> > note Steve's message about the reasonableness of an allusion. If
> > there is an allusion to Dante, one to Eliot's favorites of Francesca
> > and Paolo seems to be a good one. It deals with love and seperation
> > as, while they are together in hell, they are also forever apart from
> > one another.
> > Talking about allusions and borrowing, do you agree with Singleton's
> > comment about Dante alluding to Virgil in the Francesca passage or do
> > you lean toward a borrowing or just a coincidence?