Saturday, October 25, 2014

Malebranche

Some of you may remember the question I brought up in class the other day. That question was "why did God create the malebranche if their only purpose was to torment?" Well I was unable to find an answer to that question, BUT I did find a possible source for them from Dante's life - more specifically, his political enemies. There are twelve Malebranche named in the poem:

(1) Alichino (derived from Arlecchino, the harlequin)
(2)Barbariccia ("Curly Beard")
(3)Cagnazzo ("Nasty Dog")
(4)Calcabrina (possibly "Grace Stomper")
(5)Ciriatto ("Wild Hog"[2])
(6)Draghignazzo ("Big Nasty Dragon")
(7)Farfarello (possibly "Goblin")
(8)Graffiacane ("Dog Scratcher")
(9)Libicocco (possibly "Libyan Hothead")
(10)Malacoda, the leader ("Evil Tail")
(11)Rubicante (possibly "Red-faced Terror" and a reference to Cante de' Gabrielli, who as Podestà of Florence condemned Dante to exile)
(12)Scarmiglione (possibly "Trouble Maker")

 These names could be jumbled forms of politicians from Dante's time, who did little to actually help and protect the city-state of Florence. For example, Barbariccia could refer to the Ricca family of Florence, who had a history of influencing politics with their money.

1 comment:

Iris Mire said...

For some reason the fact that there are twelve Malebranche makes me think of them as kind of a perversion of the twelve disciples, like Hell's apostles.