Abandon every hope

I’d like to take few minutes to marvel at the work of Doré, whose etchings of the Divine Comedy are pretty darn amazing. The Inferno is as tactile and corporeally-oriented as a work of poetry can get, but Doré’s etchings immediate the experience even more so.

Abandon every hope, who enter here.

When I read this passage of the door to the underworld and its inscription in Canto III of Inferno, I wonder what it would be like to be warned before passing through doors or what it would be like to live in world without doors in just one, uninterrupted space. I wonder what purpose doors serve aside from sealing and sequestering, orienting and originating variance in where we live. I wonder if passage and travel and evolution are experiences we use the metaphor of a door to represent and what this representation says about the way we see ourselves moving and changing.

But, perhaps, most of all, I wonder how Doré got those etchings so perfect, so dynamic and so alive.

Advertisements