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Through Hell

a fully illustrated parody of Dante's Inferno

Arthur Young

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Belletristik / Gegenwartsliteratur (ab 1945)


The hero of this hazardous exploration through Hell is Hiprah Hunt , a lecturer, reformer, ex-preacher, poet and president of a Dante Club. Hiprah Hunt has no tolerance for the modern philosophy that denies the existence of Hell. As a preacher he was what men of the present day call a “back number.” Despite “higher criticism” he continually and earnestly advocates the justice of future punishment , and for this reason is known in the town where he lives as “Hell-fire Hunt.” Not unlikely his belief in a Demon-haunted Hell ruled over by a personal Devil is in part due to atavism, for Mr. Hunt is a descendant of the illustrious Hunts who lent their aid to the extermination of witches in that part of New England where witchcraft once flourished. As President of a Dante Club he collected many books on the subject of future retribution. Among them (some 80 volumes) he chiefly prizes Dante’s Inferno. Whenever he is given an opportunity he will deliver a lecture on Dante and his work. In short, Hell books have so thoroughly absorbed his mind that he becomes convinced that the under-world is as much a reality as the upper one. As a result of continual thinking on one subject, and that subject a hot one, it was frequently hinted that Mr. Hunt’s brains were shrivelling up. Whether that is true or not, he became imbued with the idea that he must find the Infernal Regions and prove to the world that the place is not a myth .