My second son is a slow but steady reader, so literature isn’t his favorite subject. And medieval literature, this year’s variety, isn’t the easiest to read, so getting him through his reading can be a challenge. This week, he suddenly asked me if The Inferno was on the approved-reading list. Yes, it is, although I didn’t really expect anyone to read it. It’s also on my “I’m going to read someday” list, so I couldn’t tell him much about it; I send him to a reference book to check on it before he started it, sure that he would change his mind.
But no, he wanted to read The Inferno. I didn’t figure he would get very far before bogging down. Instead, he has kept at it steadily, and says he likes it better than The Canterbury Tales, which was boring. (Dante is better than Chaucer’s bawdy stories?!? Whose kid is this?) It probably helps that the edition I had includes a summary before each chapter and a gloss on the odd terms and constructions at the end. But still, I’m impressed. And reminded, once again, that I should never underestimate my kids.