Black Books

An inscription in Toni Wolff’s handwritting.

“LA SOMMA SAPIENZE E’L PRIMO AMORE” (the highest wisdom and the primal love) is the sixth line of the third Canto of Dante’s Inferno, the inscription above the gate of hell.

The whole inscription reads:

“THROUGH ME THE WAY INTO THE GRIEVING CITY, / THROUGH ME THE WAY INTO ETERNAL SORROW, / THROUGH / ME THE WAY AMONG THE LOST PEOPLE. I JUSTICE MOVED MY HIGH MAKER; DIVINE POWER MADE ME, I HIGHEST WISDOM, AND PRIMAL LOVE. / BEFORE ME WERE NO THINGS CREATED j EXCEPT ETERNAL ONES, AND I ENDURE ETERNAL. / ABANDON EVERY HOPE, YOU WHO ENTER” (r,,Jerno, ed. and trans. Robert Durling [New York: Oxford University Press, 1996], p. 55). ~The Black Books, Vol. IV, Page 203, fn 1.