Adam Roberts, Purgatory Mount (2021)

“An interstellar craft is decelerating after its century-long voyage. Its destination is V538 Aurigae, a now-empty planet dominated by one gigantic megastructure, a conical mountain of such height that its summit is high above the atmosphere. The ship’s crew of five hope to discover how the long-departed builders made such a colossal thing, and why: a space elevator? a temple? a work of art? Its resemblance to the mountain of purgatory lead the crew to call this world Dante.

“In our near future, the United States is falling apart. A neurotoxin has interfered with the memory function of many of the population, leaving them reliant on their phones as makeshift memory prostheses. But life goes on. For Ottoline Barragão, a regular kid juggling school and her friends and her beehives in the back garden, things are about to get very dangerous, chased across the north-east by competing groups, each willing to do whatever it takes to get inside Ottoline’s private network and recover the secret inside.

“Purgatory Mount, Adam Roberts’s first SF novel for three years, combines wry space opera and a fast-paced thriller in equal measure. It is a novel about memory and atonement, about exploration and passion, and like all of Roberts’s novels it’s not quite like anything else.”    —Amazon

Jews in Dante


“This year, commemorations of the 700th anniversary of the death of the Italian poet Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy, have scarcely addressed the subject of how Dante wrote about Jews.

“Dante places a number of Old Testament Jews, including Abraham, Sarah, Rachel and Joshua in Paradise. Because some of the limited space is left empty there for Christians, the complement of Jews who prefigure the New Testament is full; so there are, at least temporarily, more Jews in Dante’s Paradise than Christians.

“Dante’s Purgatory includes the story of Mordecai and Haman to decry the sin of anger, whereas Daniel is praised for his temperance. In his Paradise, Dante likewise lauds Joshua and Judas Maccabeus as combatants for righteousness, while King David and Hezekiah from the Second Book of Kings and Second Book of Chronicles are exalted as just monarchs.” […].   –Benjamin Ivry, The Forward, July 18, 2021

See the rest of this essay for many more references to Jews in Dante’s works, and Jews who have cited Dante as inspiration for their work and thought.  It is debatable, however, that there are no Jews in Inferno.

Dante readings in nature and historical locales in Carnia (Friuli), Italy (2021)

“Dante in Carnia / Folc lu ardi chel Dante” is a program of public readings of the Divine Comedy in fascinating places in the Friulian mountains (Carnia). The readings, also in Friulian, are inspired by the popular diffusion of Dante from the unification of Italy to the first postwar period.”   –Silvia Tullio Altan

Webpage

Facebook page

Contributed by Silvia Tullio Altan

Dante and Commedia pins

Poppin’ Design Tags (collar pins, hat pins, earrings, etc.)  Etsy.com

Controversial “Kiss of Dante and Beatrice” portrait, Roberto Ferri (2021)

“One of the most legendary love stories never happened. Ice cream brand Magnum has reimagined history by commissioning an original artwork inspired by Dante Alighieri and his muse Beatrice.

“For International Kissing Day (July 6) and the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, Magnum asked the renowned Italian artist Roberto Ferri—dubbed the modern Caravaggio and portrait painter of Pope Francis—to realize the love story between the poet and Beatrice.” [. . .]    –Brittaney Kiefer, Adweek, July 7, 2021

Brief video here:

Dante Body Painting Contest


Fifteen artists from around Italy met in Marina di Ravenna for the first competition of “Body Painting- Dante e la Divina Commedia” on February 23, 2019.  Il Resto del Carlino – Ravenna

Contributed by Emma Marigliano

“My Dante” crowdfunding for a documentary

my dante

“Director, Producer and Scriptwriter, Melissa Butz Corsi, and Cameragirl, Editor and Creative Director, Irina Oborina, joined up as a two-person team to showcase a fresh and modern Dante…”    —Gofundme

How dancer Anuradha Venkataraman interpreted Dante through the Mahabharata

“When dancer Anuradha Venkataraman opted for a residency program with Instabili Vaganti, an Italian theatre company, she would have never expected that it would one day give her a chance to interpret one of Dante’s classics through the Mahabharata.

“A classical dancer for almost 25 years, Bengaluru-based Anuradha Venkataraman had been looking at ways to expand on language of Bharatanatyam for years. . . ‘to go beyond the traditional margams.’ [. . .].”   –Ruth Dhanaraj, The Hindu, March 24, 2021

Dante and World Blood Donor Day 2021


A comic book library in Italy has hosted an event to commemorate Dante on his 700th anniversary and blood donation at the same time.  The Fumettoteca’s director, Gianluca Umiliacchi and his staff have gathered comic books with Dante as a central figure to display.  They also note the many times the
Comedy references “blood” (sangue).  They calculate 47 times; or 54, if you include blood-related words.

“Il World Blood Donor Day – Giornata Mondiale del Donatore di Sangue, appuntamento internazionale, da anni vede la presenza degli eventi specifici e promossi dalla Fumettoteca Regionale Alessandro Callegati ‘Calle’ per la manifestazione mondiale, offrendo agli interessati l’opportunità acquisire sensibilizzazione sul concetto della
donazione ed eventuale riscontro il potenziamento della rete che garantisce le donazioni.

“Ecco, quindi, l’evento speciale dal titolo Dante del Rosso Sangue – Tracce di sangue nella Commedia, nel quale lo Staff Fumettoteca, scendendo in campo con la propria professionalità e conoscenza, attiva una Mostra esclusiva Online, una esposizione consultabile in sede e nella considerazione delle norme sanitarie messe in atto per la prevenzione, una apertura pubblica straordinaria nel pomeriggio di lunedì 14, dalle 14 alle 18. Presentare i fumetti danteschi, grazie al progetto FumettoDANTEca unico nel mondo, nelle varie situazioni che rimandano al sangue, è fattibile tenendo conto del fatto che tale termine ricorre complessivamente 47 volte nella Divina Commedia, 54 volte se si considerano le parole derivate, come nel caso de ‘il sanguinoso mucchio’, riferito proprio al massacro dei francesi compiuto in difesa da parte degli abitanti di Forlì.

“Una iniziativa, fuori da ogni linea associativa, per rappresentare un legittimo ringraziamento ai tantissimi donatori volontari che da generazione in generazione si sono susseguiti, ‘Sono del parere che la donazione di sangue sia un atto straordinario’ – afferma l’esperto fumettotecario Gianluca Umiliacchi, donatore da oltre 40 anni – e per questo c’è bisogno di persone che facciano la propria parte, il Servizio Sanitario è presente per tutti, ma serve anche il contributo di tutti.’ Precisando, ‘La donazione garantisce terapie salvavita a tutti i pazienti che ne hanno necessità, questa nostra esclusiva proposta può apparire solo una goccia in un immenso oceano ma, attenzione, è quella goccia!’

“In questo 2021, l’anno di Dante Alighieri lo si celebra come letterato, teorico della politica, esperto di linguistica e filosofo, ma anche un comunicatore della scienza e delle conoscenze mediche del suo tempo. Ecco perché numerosi sono i richiami al sangue, come figura retorica e come elemento anatomico di cui ne descrive l’origine. Immancabili le proposte che si dimostrano, a ben diritto, esclusive oltre che innovative ed eccezionali, con ovvi collegamenti alle azioni fondamentali per raggiungere importanti Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile (SDGs) dell’Agenda 2030 dell’ONU alla quale la Fumettoteca Regionale Alessandro Callegati Calle’ aderisce consapevolmente.”    –Gianluca Umiliacchi

Beatrice’s Eyes and Beauty in The Divine Comedy

“A scholarly essay published in VoegelinView describing the symbolism of Beatrice’s eyes in The Divine Comedy. The essay also has a few references to how such symbolism, and the role of Beatrice in general, are relevant to us today.”    –Darrell Falconburg, VoegelinView, December 22, 2020