Did Dante write that Hell's central pillar is... The devil's dick?

Otto Weininger, that kooky old loveable madman, wrote that:

The original German is more precise:

What, wait?

Did Dante really write that? That hell’s central pillar, or mid-point, is a dick at the center of the earth? The devil’s dick, specifically?

Even better than that he exits out of Lucifer’s…er…exit.


Moved to Cafe Society.

General Questions Moderator

Well, he passes by Lucifer’s anus, not through it. That section is about gravity reversing itself after he crosses Lucifer’s midpoint, so that he is now facing up as he climbs up and out along the devil’s legs.

Ironically, Dante was right about gravity reversing itself as one crawls through the center of a sphere, but wrong about its effects. He had gravity getting heavier as one gets closer to the center; in our world, the opposite happens.

I’m almost certain that Dante doesn’t describe Satan’s penis or anus. Almost.

Dante and Virgil are depicted climbing by grabbing handfuls of Satan’s body hair, moving like fleas.

However, there is that bit where a lesser devil blows a trumpet with his butt, so Dante clearly was up to a scatological joke now and then.

Wait. Hold on.

  1. Is the bit quoted by Mr. Kobayashi the only passus in Dante’s surviving writings - not just The Divine Comedy, mind you - that, eh, touches on the Devil’s private parts?

  2. Is Weininger’s interpretation the only one of its kind, and unique to him, or did he base his claim on an earlier (mis)reading or (mis)interpretation?

  3. What have others made of the possibility that Dante seems to put the Devil’s taint at the very center of the Earth, as the heart and core of all gravitation? (Or does he? Does “midpoint” mean stomach, rather than cock’n’ass?)

For what it’s worth, in Niven’s Inferno, (which seemed to follow Dante’s fairly well) there was no Devil Dick. Just hair.

My Medieval Culture professor back in the day did think it amusing that the Devil’s ass, in her formulation, was the center of the universe per Dante.

Goddamnit. Had to look it up.

Dante mentions “là dove la cosciasi volge, a punto in sul grosso de l’anche.”

In Mr. Kobayashi’s quote, the line is translated as “the point at which the thigh revolves, just at the swelling of the hip.” In the page he linked to, it is translated as “the point exactly where the thigh begins, right at the haunch’s curve.” In Longfellow’s translation, it’s “where the thigh revolves, exactly on the thickness of the haunch.”

The use of the word “haunch” (“a buttock and thigh considered together, in a human or animal”) certainly seems to point in the direction of the Devil’s ass, rather than, say, his stomach. So it seems exceedingly likely that Dante is, at this point, standing on (not in) the Devil’s ass, rather than, say, hanging out in his navel.

I have nothing to add except that this thread right here is why I read the SDMB.