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Canto 4, wherein the First Circle of Hell resembles a cocktail party.

The Divine Comedy - Dante Alighieri, Clive James

Mood lighting plus chit-chatting with famous poets and philosophers from history does not sound like a bad place to me. Especially as these famous folks are willing to discuss their favorite subjects with Dante, who is a complete stranger...and say nice things to him. IMO, Circle One of Hell sounds like a pretty good cocktail party.


The fact that there is background wailing from some of the 'condemned' souls just goes to show you that you can't please everybody. Probably those wailers were the same sorts of people as the modern folks who like to flag reviews at goodreads for being 'off-topic' or too-honest 'mean-to-the-author'.