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Friday, May 12, 2017

[GBM] Intelligent weapon


After having exalted the innocence of his life in contact with Nature, Clizio offers Adonis a fruit that, although not signaled as forbidden, will prove poisonous. More than that: it could be termed an "intelligent weapon" acting in due time. The fruit is love, that, as Marino will often repeat, is metaphorically a "sweet venom"; but in the case of Adonis, it will actually cause his death in the long run---not very long, indeed. In a little while, in 2.38, Adonis himself will eat and pluck an apple from a very special tree, with a still clearer hint at the story of Eden. [The 40,000-line poem is an aggregate of many works of Marino, with a juxtaposition of different layers, so there occur repetitions, as well as inconsistencies, etc.] Some remarks by CS Lewis in his Preface to Paradise Lost come back to the mind, when he states that Eve by giving Adam the apple after eating it herself, and knowing about its lethal effects, is casually planning a murder.

1.164

In the Garden of Pleasure the loving Clizio     paradisus deliciarum in the Latin Bible
picked the fruits and squeezed the wine.
So the youth, inebriated, got subtle     Adonis
flames in his bosom, that ignited him---
but he did not know them, did not suffer:
they in fact lay suppressed until due time     soppresse in the Italian text
like a snake hidden in a frozen soil,
which will not act before warming up.