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Monday, September 9, 2013

Harry Reid Misquotes Dante

The Senate Majority Leader should have a word with his speechwriter. From a speech today:
As you enter the exhibits at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, you see a quote from Dante’s famous Inferno. This is what it says: “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.
The quotation does appear on artwork at the museum:


But the line does not come from Dante.  Rather, it is JFK's very loose paraphrase of Dante.

Respectfully Quoted explains:
  This remark may have been inspired by the passage from Dante Alighieri’s La Comedia Divina, trans. Geoffrey L. Bickersteth, “Inferno,” canto 3, lines 35–42 (1972):        by those disbodied wretches who were loth        when living, to be either blamed or praised.… … … … … …Fear to lose beauty caused the heavens to expel        these caitiffs; nor, lest to the damned they then        gave cause to boast, receives them the deep hell.
What's more, Dante depicts the 9th circle of Hell as cold, not hot.