How do you learn to write? My belief is that if fine writing comes from you, mostly it is due to fine reading, even if (or particularly when?) you forget the detail of what you have read but keep the imprint.
Here Dante acknowledges Virgil not only as his travel and spiritual guide, but also as having taught him to write through learning his words and rhythms.
‘Through learning you by heart I learned to write.’
‘Tu se’ solo colui da cu’ io tolsi
lo bello stilo che m’ha fatto onore.’ (Inferno, Canto 1)
See a flowing example of Dante’s reverence for Virgil.
Source: Dante,The Divine Comedy, trans. Clive James (New York: Liveright Publishing, 2013), p. 6
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