|Dante wants to know: Who wrote my Inferno?|
What never ceases to boggle the mind, though, is the number one non-bathroom question customers ask over and over again.
Who wrote Dante’s Inferno?
No joke, it’s something bookstore customers really want to know, and with alarming frequency. It’s tricky to keep from sounding curt when answering “Dante,” but it’s the correct and only response, despite the temptation to wickedly answer “Nostradamus” or even “Jackie Collins.”
I’m not sure why it’s poor Dante alone who falls prey to this phenomenon (though The Diary of Anne Frank gets occasional questions about its authorship, presumably by people who think it’s a work of fiction.)
No one ever walks in the door and asks, say, “Who wrote Shakespeare’s Hamlet?” or “Do you happen to know the author of Judy Blume’s Superfudge?” No, it’s Dante and The Inferno alone that befuddle students and mature adults alike.
Friends from other bookstores confirm that they hear it too, and so do librarians. And, to add to my astonishment, not only do people take to the Internet to ask who wrote Dante’s most famous work, but the Internet sometimes gets it shockingly wrong. (Screenshot below.)
So, just to be clear to anyone who pulls this article up in a search because they --like thousands of other bookstore customers across the country-- need to know who wrote Dante’s Inferno-- the answer you’re looking for is Dante.
But of course you knew that.
Book shop employees and other folks: What are some of the most bizarre questions you've heard? And who wrote Dante's Inferno?