Lorenzo Amato on the surrealist Japanese artist Fukuzawa Ichiro (1898-1992) and Dante

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fukuzawa’s work was recently shown in Laugh Off This Hopeless World: Fukuzawa Ichiro (The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, March 12 – May 26 2019, a cura di Shōgo Ōtani, Ryō Furutate, Reiko Nakamura).

See Lorenzo Amato’s article, “Fra Dante Alighieri e l’Ōjōyōshū di Genshin: la società come Inferno nell’opera di Fukuzawa Ichirō, pittore umanista e misantropo” in Insula Europa, February 2021.

Carmine Cervone’s printing of Dante’s Commedia on a traditional printing press (2021)

“Carmine Cervone è nato e cresciuto in una famiglia di tipografi. Da piccolo aveva un sogno: Stampare la Divina Commedia, su carta pregiata, utilizzando macchinari che oggi è quasi impossibile trovare ancora all’opera. Oggi, nel pieno di una pandemia mondiale, ha deciso di realizzare quel progetto. Un’operazione minuziosa che non contempla errori. E che ha come fine ultimo un progetto ambizioso: Una tipografia museo, dove poter coinvolgere i passanti in questa arte quasi dimenticata.”    —Youmedia, February 1, 2021.

Cervone’s traditional printing studio is Officina d’Arti Grafiche in Naples, Italy.  He welcomes visitors.  Facebook page here.

Robert Schwentke, dir. R.I.P.D. (2013)


“There are many descriptions of the afterlife in fiction that can be traced back to Dante’s imaginative journeys. The wacky afterlife universe depicted in the 2013 movie R.I.P.D (Rest in Peace Department) can’t shake off the legacy.

“When a Boston police officer is killed by his renegade partner, he is immediately whizzed up to a questionable Heaven where he discovers that everyone has to answer for past crimes in the thereafter – or join R.I.P.D, Inferno’s police force. The task of the R.I.P.D is to catch ‘Deadoes’, the souls of the deceased who refuse to accept their fate and instead return to the world of the living in order to spoil it.

“The ascent to where R.I.P.D resides is a helical ride for the recently departed, a cocktail of two shots of Inferno, half a Purgatorio and one of Paradiso.  Sitting under the department of ‘Eternal Affairs’, R.I.P.D is run by a chief, half Virgil, half Minos, whose role is to give the new recruit a tour of the establishment. The movie seems to suggest that if you’re not simply visiting Hell (like Dante the pilgrim), then you’re either a convict or an (infernal) law-enforcement officer, whose job is to keep the damned away from the living.

“Dante’s circles of Hell are alluded to in the prison cells of the R.I.P.D precincts and in its staff’s crammed offices. Hell is other people working in the next R.I.P.D cubicle.”    –Cristian Ispir

Anthony Bourdain in Tuscany

 

In Season 3, Episode 15 of No Reservations (2007), there are many references to Dante and Inferno.

Contributed by Brendan Keefe

Donna Tartt, The Secret History (1992)

“On page 39, the Inferno is directly mentioned: ‘It’s the meter,’ said Francis, ‘Iambic trimeter. Those really hideous parts of Inferno, for instance, Pier de Medicina with his nose hacked off and talking though a bloody slit in his windpipe–‘ ‘ I can think of worse than that,’ Charles said. ‘So can I. But that passage is lovely and it’s because of the terza rima. The music of it. The trimeter tolls through that speech of Klytemnestra’s like a bell.’

“This was in reference to a quoted piece of the Oresteia in a classics class. The reference to the meter was to connect death and beauty, and ultimately make a statement pertinent to the subject of desire, specifically the desire to live forever. Earlier in the book, the professor teaching the classics class mentioned both Dante and Virgil by name when explaining subjects other than Greek that the students would be studying in his program.”  –Contributor Alex Lee

Contributed by Robert Alex Lee (Florida State University, ’21)

Matilde Urbach’s virtual book club at the Biblioteca Joan Triadu’ de Vic (Barcelona, Spain): Dante 2021

 

“Llegir els clàssics és un club de lectura virtual de la Biblioteca Joan Triadú de Vic. Va néixer, per casualitat, el passat mes d’abril, en ple confinament covid, quan la biblioteca (l’edifici) va haver de tancar portes. A l’espai físic del carrer Arquebisbe Alemany, 5 no s’hi podia accedir, no, però la biblioteca obria per confinament a la xarxa. Els clubs de lectura presencials van parar en sec, és clar. Ens quedava De casa al club, en format blog, on es va poder celebrar la trobada per comentar Claus i Lucas i encara faltaven uns mesos per iniciar les sessions virtuals, via Jitsi Meet, del Club de lectura Dones i Literatura, per exemple. Llavors, cap a finals d’abril, va aparèixer Tellfy, una app de comunicació instantània per a dispositius mòbils, que permetia traslladar a la xarxa l’activitat de les comunitats de lectors. I ara entra en escena la casualitat. No la menystingueu mai. Resulta que, una tarda de finals d’abril, em vaig descarregar l’aplicació Tellfy a la tauleta per fer el xafarder. Vaig començar a fer provatures, per pura curiositat, insisteixo. Vaig triar un llibre, l’Odissea, que era el que estava llegint, en això no em vaig trencar gaire les banyes, i vaig començar de rumiar com carai m’ho faria, posat per cas que en volgués crear un club de lectura virtual amb aquell estri nou. Que si això que si allò, que tomba que gira. Però com que els meus experiments eren públics —estava emetent en obert— em vaig trobar, de sobte, que dues persones s’havien afegit a la comunitat lectora que acabava de crear. Ara pla, amb això no hi comptava.  I així és com el simulacre va acabar en una lectura compartida de l’Odissea, al Tellfy.

“Vaig acceptar el repte de bon grat perquè estic convençuda que els clàssics són els grans abandonats de les biblioteques públiques. Dediquem molts esforços a les novetats i als llibres que puguin acontentar els lectors. La majoria dels lectors, si més no. Així ho crec. Llegiríem, doncs, l’Odissea, tal i com diu el Senyor dolent en aquest apunt: a poc a poc (un cant per setmana) i trigant el que s’hagi de trigar.

“Amb el pas dels mesos i l’arribada d’allò que en diuen la nova normalitat (ecs!), la part participativa, d’interacció, de la comunitat Tellfy anava perdent pistonada fins a pràcticament desaparèixer i, per contra, la informació que anava penjant de cada cant agafava gruix, per acumulació, és clar. L’única pega és que aquests continguts quedaven absolutament enterrats en l’aplicació, sense accés obert des de la xarxa. Per aquest motiu m’he decidit a traslladar-los a un blog. Aquí el teniu: Llegir els clàssics. I com podeu apreciar, el títol —que no és Llegir l’Odissea apunta —ara que estem a quatre cants del final— que tinc tota la intenció de donar-li continuïtat. Amb covid o sense.”    —Matilde Urbach, Biblioteca Joan Triadu’ de Vic

Stranded on Purgatory Island

“A Dantean reflection on the ecological disaster of isolation (and why this is not Hell).”  Essay by Filippo Gianferrari (UC-Santa Cruz) for Breaking Ground, July 27, 2020

A Word a Day from Dante

A word a day from Dante’s writing, hosted by Accademia della Crusca
See also this

“Dante Alighieri racconta la politica”

See the whole “Dante Alighieri racconta la politica” Facebook page here (last accessed January 13, 2021).

Weather in Amsterdam, Netherlands, January 2021

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