A halting mode of speech, the words slow-emerging, like the tearing of pages from a long-closed book.┬áThat is how Dante’s translator presents us with the first encounter with Virgil, who would be his guide through much of his journey.

 

‘His words emerged: as if with slow care torn,

Like pages of a book soaked shut by time.’

 

‘… chi per lungo silenzio parea fioco.’

 

Source: Dante,The Divine Comedy (Inferno, Canto 1), trans. Clive James (New York: Liveright Publishing, 2013), p. 5

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