The immense amount of personal satisfaction I feel when my Goodreads yearly reading challenge monitor says, “Good job, you’re on track!” is pretty pathetic.  As is the amount of chagrin I feel when it says, “You’re one book behind!”  Not that my feelings of personal self-worth are determined by a website, but…oh, who am I kidding. 😛

I’m currently slogging my way through The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.  I’m not really sure why, except that it was on my shelf and it seemed like a good idea at the time.  I was stuck in hell for AGES, and now it feels as though I’ve been in purgatory for just as long.  So far I am supremely unimpressed and a little bit aghast at how seriously we take this guy’s ideas about the afterlife.  Basically he just stuck all the folks he didn’t get along with in hell and gave them bizarre punishments; my copy has extensive footnotes about how so-and-so was a student with Dante and they didn’t hit it off.  Then, once we got to purgatory, it’s all about Dante’s friends who have died, and he’s all, “Dude, how’d you get this far along?  I thought you’d still be stuck way down on the lower levels, considering you were kind of a jerk.”  And the dead guy is all, “Naw, man, my awesome wife has been praying for me.”  And Dante’s thinks, “Huh, yeah, your wife is pretty awesome.”  At the same time, Virgil’s trying his darndest to get Dante to hurry UP already.  Every few pages he says, “Dante, seriously, man up and climb the stupid hill.  No, you can’t rest.  I don’t care if you’re tired.  I’m DEAD, don’t be complaining to me about how rough you have it!”  Every few pages Dante also rhapsodizes over his paralyzing fear and how he is basically a wuss.  I am displeased.  But it seems a shame not to finish it, at this stage.

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