settembre 23, 2013

Cup o' Porn guest post: Sympathy for the Devil

Hello, everyone :)!
Today I'm over at Cup o' Porn talking about devils in mythology and folklore, and how I re-interpreted the devil trope in my new novella, Devil at the Crossroads!  

In the literary tradition, devils are commonly portrayed as evil. Devils such as Mephistopheles, in the story of Doctor Faust, find great pleasure in destroying a man or, even better, driving a man to destroy himself with his own hands. It’s almost as if Mephistopheles perceives that Faust is already damned, or on his way to damnation at the very least, and all the devil has to do is give a little push to help him realise his potential. 

My perception was always slightly different: ‘my’ devils are more ridiculous than frightening. Like every Italian, I grew up with copies of Dante’s Divine Comedy at home and studied it at school, so my imagination is forever influenced by his descriptions and by Gustave Doré’s beautiful engravings. One of the things that tickled my imagination the most was Dante’s portrayals of the lesser devils, the bizarre, mischievous creatures that inhabit the different levels of Hell. I was always particularly fond of the Malebranche gang, the “evil claws” that inhabit the crevasses of the Malebolge, in the eight circle of Hell. 

 For instance, there is their leader Malacoda (evil tail); Barbariccia (curly beard) who famously farts like a trumpet; Cagnazzo (bad dog) with his animal snout; Rubicante, whose task is to cut up the souls of the damned; Alichino, who will eventually evolve into the much more famous Arlecchino (Harlequin)…

Read the rest of the post here!

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