A Story and Works on
Paraphrasing the introduction to Dante's Inferno, there is not just a single
sense in this work, Quercia Stories: it might rather be called polysemous.
There are six subjects that should be asked about any serious work. What is
its subject, its form, its agent, its end, the title of the book and the
branch of philosophy?
The subject, the whole work then is sex. The form is a story and works on
Allegorically the subject is a woman exercising her free will, and in doing
so, she is earning or becoming liable to the rewards or punishments of
Quercia Stories is about a Canadian by birth but not in character. The
character is Italian. Oakes is the author. In the whole and in the part - it
is her sister, Justine, and she is clearly so without.
This branch of philosophy is eclectic.
Drawing from the structure of Dante's Inferno, Quercia Stories is made up of
sixty-one cantos in three books. As in Dante's Inferno - the first sin
addressed is incontinence (lack of control over our passions and desires).
In Quercia Stories, Justine is in absolute control as she researches the
limits of love and knowledge.
The second major literary influence in Quercia Stories are the two books
Justine and Juliette by the Marquis de Sade. Oakes retains the libertine
lifestyle in her character, Justine, but brings her adventures into a more
reasonable context. Justine is given a role similar to that of a bachelor -
a role that society deems acceptable for men but is still dubious for women.
Julie Oakes, Author, Paraphrasing the introduction to Dante's “Inferno,”