Since writing about the first week of my 2021 Reading Challenge, I’ve finished another book. Not The Frogs by Aristophanes, though. On January 13th I finally got around to reading The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. As for The Frogs, I’m still having issues with it on my Kindle. I’ll get around to reading it on my laptop instead, eventually. Other than that, I haven’t decided which book I’ll be reading next.
Check back in on Tuesday for that review of My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse that I’ve been promising! As for The Divine Comedy…. I’ll give a few thoughts, but I’m not gonna write a review of that one. I did not like it.
Gruesome Novels vs Humorous Stories
In my younger years, I liked horrible, gruesome, grotesque novels. The Divine Comedy has been on my reading list for years now. I mean, shoot, who hasn’t heard of Dante’s Inferno, right? It’s iconic! It was dark, it was graphic, just like it’s supposed to be. The version I downloaded on my Kindle was supposed to be the entire Divine Comedy, but it was really only the Inferno. I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll go back to read the other 2 parts.
I’m a little confused. Younger me would have loved Dante’s Inferno. Anything gross and violent was right up my alley. When did I change? Is it even a change, or is it growth? Maturity? If I go back to read Marquis de Sade’s works, will I find those as unpleasant as I found Dante? Before, these sorts of horrible novels were my favorites. What happened? When did I start mostly reading pleasant things and humorous novels? It’s nice. Was I so interested in those violent books because I was unhappy and confused?
Along with Dante, I also read The Canterville Ghost, the first short story by Oscar Wilde. It was a great introduction to Oscar Wilde! I didn’t know what it was about, and only read it because it had ‘ghost’ in the title and I was looking for something a little darker to read. Luckily, this story was far from dark. I’ll get around to writing more about it in another post. It was after reading this story that I decided to start the Inferno. I was in a bad mood and thought that reading something dark would cheer me up. It didn’t. Oscar Wilde did, though!
At any rate, it’s interesting seeing how my tastes have changed as I continue reading through books this 2021. Perhaps I’ll try to stick to more pleasant subjects from here on out, though!
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