some excerpts, including a lovely prayer, from Nick Tosches’s masterpiece illustrated with pornography

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

– the Gospel of Thomas, quoted in Nick Tosches, In The Hand of Dante, Little, Brown and Co., 2003, p. 105

Jacopo was a poet and a lawyer: a dangerous combination. And Dante, lest we forget, was but a man – a man who throughout his marriage to Jacopo’s mother, and throughout Jacopo’s own childhood, adolescence, and young manhood, went publicly about pulling his poetic prick and moaning like a ricchione over some dead twat he never even knew.

– Ibid., p. 366

There are those whom I love and who dwell within me. Some of them I have abandoned long ago. Others long ago have abandoned me. Yet they dwell in the love within me.

There are others, whom I never have abandoned, and who never have abandoned me.

For so long, the souls of others sustained me as much as my own soul did.

God, how I long now for them.

I must have them know that I breathe. I must allow them the knowledge that we still breathe together, apart as we may be. I can not let them know this only when I bring them to me to celebrate that befalling thing.

God, how I am blessed to have Giulietta, whose breath I can feel upon my skin and in my soul, and upon whose skin and into whose sweet soul I can breathe.

As for the rest of you, neither I nor those who dwell in the love within me desire or would abide your company. To you who in your fear, your stupidity, your jealousy, darkened the path of my previous life as you desecrated your own – and you know who you are – may your true death precede mine, as did the death of your souls.

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

– Ibid., pp. 369-370