Among the Lost, set in the modern American rust belt, is a meditation drawn from Dante’s Purgatorio. To Dante, Purgatory was the mountain where souls not damned went after death to cleanse themselves of sin in preparation for entering Paradise. What, Steinzor asks, are we preparing ourselves for, having lost the fear of hell and the hope of heaven, in the course of our daily urban existence? And whatever that is, how do we go about preparing for it?.
Among the Lost (In Dante’s Wake) is book 2 in Seth Steinzor’s trilogy based on Dante’s Inferno. I haven’t read Dante since high school but I remember some of the storyline.
Dante guides the narrator here as he goes through the motions of daily life. Birth, death, family, love, religion and politics are some of the themes encountered within these pages.
This second installment, based on Dante’s Purgatorio, takes the reader through Purgatory. It starts off with a husband in a hospital room while his wife is in labor. The narrator sees life and death in the hospital, like yin and yang. I have always found the idea of purgatory to be a fascinating and terrifying one. The thought of a soul being stuck midway like that, neither here nor there, in limbo.
The narrator is looking for his love Victoria and on reading the foreword, I found out the author based Victoria’s character on a girl he loved in real life who sadly, tragically passed away.