Cancel Culture also affects Dante, via Mohammed from Hell: “Be men, and not crazy sheep”

Even the Supreme Poet had to pay his heavy and grotesque tribute to the mass purge of culture in favor of politically correct, an operation that is causing the greatest cancellation and rewriting in history, which had not even succeeded in the dictatorships of the twentieth century, at the medieval theocracies or the most ferocious oligarchies of all time. And this happens seven centuries after the alleged death of the Florentine poet in a climate of witch hunt (even this expression will be banned I suppose), in which even the witches are now exhausted and not knowing who to pillory, the ax is addressed. of the hateful censorship of cutting down the millenary forests of the past to make a clean sweep of the entire history of the West.

Exiled alive, his works are censored today, 700 years later, not by an Inquisition court set up by Bernardo Gui, the fearsome Torquemada, or by the acolytes of Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb (founder of Saudi Wahhabism) but by a Dutch publishing house of the 21st century that has decided to eliminate the character of Mohammed from Dante's work for a generic "do not offend". An act of genuflection that took place not in the era of the reconquest of Jerusalem by Saladin, close to the fall of Damietta or St. John of Acre, but in full "cancel culture" of the 21st century, a gigantic global operation of historical removal from from a cultural point of view it is worse than the invasion of the Hyksos or the sack of Rome by Alaric.

The publisher Blossom Books has decided to remove the character of Mohammed from Canto XXVIII of the Divine Comedy , as reported by the newspaper De Standaard . In the original version, the prophet of Islam is described in the eighth circle of Hell as a "sower of scandal and schism", condemned to wander with his chest torn in two. While the passage was not completely removed from the Dutch translation, Muhammad's name was conveniently deleted. The publisher justifies this choice with the desire not to offend, especially young people.

“We didn't want to offend unnecessarily. In Dante's book, Muhammad is subjected to a cruel and humiliating fate just because he is the founder of Islam. With our series of translations, we want to present the classics of literature in an accessible and fun way for new readers, especially younger ones, ”Myrthe Spiteri, editor of Blossom Books , told De Standaard .

A cancellation that did not leave even the Muslim community indifferent in the Netherlands. In fact, the cancellation would have wanted to anticipate possible protests, which among other things there would never have been, given that the text has been known to the Muslim world for centuries: "The publisher must correct it as quickly as possible", thundered the writer Abdelkader Benali to De Standaard who fears the reverse effect, namely that the Muslim community is accused of having suggested the cancellation, which in fact has never happened for centuries.

Dante is not the first author or artist and he will not be the last to suffer the guillotine of politically correct. “Dix petits nègres” by Agatha Christie was renamed Ils étaient dix in France, again in order not to offend (as the author's great-grandson told RTL ). Several voices have also been raised in France against the film “Blow Up” by director Michelangelo Antonioni because it is judged sexist. The finale of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen because it illustrates a femicide and Perrault's fable “Sleeping Beauty” because the prince offers a kiss (non-consensual) to the sleeping princess.

But the operation on Dante appears even more conspicuous and aberrant given that the great poet in life would never have cared to spare popes, political figures and prophets the most horrid hell. Let alone the penalty that he would have assigned to the neo censors of socio-cultural lobotomization. They recall in their Pavlovian-style collectivist determinism the English bigot Abbott: “More than the Earth, this gentleman's head turns”, said di Bruno, who was illustrating the Copernican theory to an Oxford audience. If we had listened to Abbott and not Bruno and Copernicus we would never have been able to send a robot to Mars. Same thing goes for art and poetry, if we had espoused the politically correct we would never have had the genius of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Van Gogh, and today we would be a wasteland populated by gray and pale bureaucrats devoid of blood and ideas.

Dante in fact like so many other geniuses of all ages cannot be politically correct, he is incorrect to the core. Of genius, in whatever discipline it is, we admire the art, the insane and cursed intuition, the breaking of pre-established patterns, the crossing of the monotony of the world like a sparkling comet that ignites in contact with the heaviness of the earth's atmosphere. . The genius is stellar, he comes from the dark depths of the cosmos, his longing for beauty is immediate, his vision of the world is not governed by luminous Apollonian laws but by the poetic violence of Dionysus, the "daimon" who inhabits it does not know another time of the hic et nunc , its temporality is of this world only for a fleeting time because it usually leaves soon: who would last long in this cage of mad and bigoted inquisitors?

Therefore, in front of this bleating and retrograde spiral that invests the world of culture, art and society as a whole that now appears more like a flock in disarray which, having lost the light of reason, wanders aimlessly framed by the acrimonious bark of a few dogs (respectable oligarchies), we just have to exhort the few awake from the leaden sleep with the words of Dante himself: “Be men, and not mad sheep” .

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This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Mon, 29 Mar 2021 04:57:00 +0000.