The Butchers Among Us

Wolcott, our Virgil in Hell.

From the John Ciardi translation of Dante's Inferno:

"The poets come to the edge of the Ninth Bolgia [of the Eighth Circle] and look down at a parade of hideously mutilated souls. These are the SOWERS OF DISCORD, and just as their sin was to rend asunder what God had meant to be united, so are they hacked and torn through all eternity by a great demon with a bloody sword. After each mutilation, the souls are compelled to drag their broken bodies around the pit and to return to the demon, for in the course of the circuit their wounds knit in time to be inflicted anew. Thus is the law of retribution observed, each sinner suffering according to his degree."

The irony is, shall we say, cutting.

Also, here's my note to James Wolcott, sent through the Vanity Fair website:

Mr. Wolcott:

I can't e-mail you through your blog (problems with my e-mail setup), so I'm writing you this way to tell you that, concerning your "Headhunters" post, I went to one of the fonts of our moral understanding--Dante--to find an eerily prescient commentary on our friends at LGF.

I would be honored if you would see my post at www.millerdunwoody.blogspot.com.

William Miller
San Anselmo, Calif.


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