Naturally, any would-be hero or heroine needs to set sail, or how are they to prove their worth? Clive James, from whose splendid translation this and other nearby quotations come, remarks on Dante’s economy of phrasing, and this is one example.  Lapidary others to follow.  Meanwhile, where’s that sailing boat?

‘He did what any decent hero must:

Set sail.’

See also our illustrated quote-rich celebration of Dante’s Divine Comedy in Clive James’ entrance-lation.  And on the business of setting sail, see the review of Adam Nicolson’s Sea Room, together with several beautifully illustrated quotations from the same book, on setting out to sea in spring, in fine weather, in ecstasy, and when the tide is running your way

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

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