Hyperallgeric: “Why is Dante the Florentine still present with us 700 years after his death?”

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“Recognition of the poem’s importance began very early. The first man to write a commentary on The Divine Comedy was Dante’s eldest son, Jacopo. A full exegesis of the work came several decades later. There are 800 early manuscripts of the poem in existence

“It is in some of these that we begin to see the different ways in which artists responded to this often dense and difficult text, with its multiple layers of meaning. First we spot small illustrations of the poem’s principal characters at the beginning of each hand-scribed canto. A little later, scenes from the poem begin to appear in churches, on frescoes by Luca Signorelli in Orvieto Cathedral (c. 1500), for example.

“The most important visual interpreters of the poem were three: Sandro Botticelli, who lived in the 16th century, William Blake, and Gustave Doré, both of whom lived in the 19th: a Florentine (like Dante himself), an Englishman, and a Frenchman.” [. . .]    –Michael Glover, Hyperallergic, February 13, 2021.

 

“How the Passion of Hannibal Lecter Inspired a New Opera About Dante”

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“When you hear the name Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a few things spring to mind—and none of them are likely to involve Italian poet Dante Alighieri or opera. Of course there’s good reason for this, with Lecter’s exotic cooking ingredients superseding his gentler affectations. But even so, when author Thomas Harris first imagined how the character might move in the wild for the novel Hannibal, it was with baroque glee he unleashed the doctor in Florence: Italy’s Renaissance city and Dante’s medieval stomping grounds.

“Director Ridley Scott similarly understood that secret recipe. His film version of Hannibal relishes every Italian colonnade Anthony Hopkins walks under, or the way the shadow of the statue of David casts darkness on its star’s face, often as he stands in the same spot where men were hanged or immolated centuries ago. In its better moments, Scott’s movie savors that this is a story about a devil who covets the divine; it delights in playing like an opera.

“Hence for the picture’s best sequence, the filmmakers commissioned a new ‘mini-opera,’ one that would for the first time put music to verses that Dante wrote more than 700 years ago. And in the decades since the movie’s release, those fleeting  minutes of music have blossomed into a real, full-fledged opera about to have its world premiere. Once again the doctor’s distinct tastes and influences appear singular within the realm of movie monsters.” [. . .]    –David Crow, Den of Geek, February 17, 2021.

Dante’s New Pop Up: The Snow Lodge in Aspen

dujour-dantes-pop-up-snow-lodge-in-apsen-2021“New York City-based bar and restaurant Dante has taken over The Snow Lodge in Aspen for the winter season. Located at the base of Ajax Mountain, Dante at The Snow Lodge delivers the ultimate après-ski experience, featuring a chic, retro ski-designed restaurant and outdoor patio with scenic seating and fire pits, as well as live music, shops and wellness programming. ‘You couldn’t ask for a better spot when you come off the mountain for a cocktail,’ says Dante’s co-owner Linden Pride. Breakfast and lunch and an après-ski cocktail hour menu mirrors the offerings at their downtown two New York City locations, with all available for take-out and delivery through the Dante App. ‘We developed a dedicated menu of hot cocktails for outdoor dining with drinks such as our Hot Smoked Toddy, Hot Buttered Rum, Spiked Coffee and more,’ says Pride. ‘We’ve also brought over our most popular dishes like our pappardelle all’ragu with wild boar, which is perfect after a big day of skiing.'” [. . .]    –Natasha Wolff, Dujour.

Mark Scarbrough’s Podcast Walking With Dante Podcast (2021)

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“Ever wanted to read Dante’s Divine Comedy? Come along with us! We’re not lost in the scholarly weeds. (Mostly.) We’re strolling through the greatest work (to date) of Western literature. Join me, Mark Scarbrough, as I take on this masterpiece passage by passage. I’ll give you my rough English translation, show you some of the interpretive knots in the lines, let you in on the 700 years of commentary, and connect Dante’s work to our modern world. The pilgrim comes awake in a dark wood, then walks across the known universe. Join us. New episodes every Sunday and Wednesday.” [. . .]    –Mark Scarbrough, Apple Podcast Preview, 2021.

To listen to the Walking With Dante podcast series visit Apple Podcasts here or the Mark Scarbrough website.

“Beyond the Darkness, Dancing in the Light of Dante” (2020)

 

“Beyond the darkness, dancing in the light of Dante

“a cura di Comune di Firenze — Assessorto al Turismi

“Il video mostra una Firenze vuota ma illuminata a festa, dove giovani danzatori sono animati dalle parole del sommo Poeta Dante Alighieri.

“Le sue parole, come una luce, condurranno fuori dall’oscurità della notte.

“Realizzato da Studio Riprese Firenze, diretto da Matteo Gazzarri.” [. . .]    –Municipality of Florence Tourism Department

To find more information on celebrations and events regarding Dante’s 700th anniversary visit https://www.700dantefirenze.it/.

 

Jacek Lipowczan, “Dante Cycle”

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Dante’s Way to Inferno

“Jacek Lipowczan signs his paintings as ‘JALI’. Jacek Lipowczan born in September 1951 in South Poland, studied on the Academy of  Fine Arts in Cracow and graduated in 1976 obtaining his Master of Art Degree in the Grafic Design in the atelier of Professor M. Wejman. His experience as junior scene designer in the team of Polish film Director Kazimierz Kutz introduced him to the works and projects of Andrzej Majewski. The fairy tale imaginative works of this Artist strongly influenced  Jacek Lipowczan’s future creativity and his artistic imagination.” [. . .]    –Jacek Lipowczan, Jacek Lipowczan Magical Dreams, 2018

The paintings from JaLi’s “Dante Cycle,” like the two images featured here, can be viewed in the virtual gallery on his website (2008 and 2009).

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Passing Through—Dante Cycle

A Divina Comedia, O Filme (Brazilian Movie 2020)

“Based on the work of Dante Alighieri. The Titan Studio company in partnership with the theatre team Trupe Alcateia will give life to this incredible play that for centuries is investigating the curiosity of people all around the globe. The project consists of filming with chroma keys so CGI scenarios can be built and applied onto the background allowing more freedom with the creation and keeping the originality of the play. The performances will all be theatrical and with scripts adapted to the cinematic customs and updated language, besides having a slight ‘Shakespearian’ touch in order to maintain the romanticism of the work.” [. . .]    —ARTSTATION

The movie poster above features the film’s interpretation of Ciacco in Inferno 6. To learn more visit the Facebook page here.

DeseretNews, “We are living in Dante’s Inferno: Here’s Our Way Out”

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“Many of us who face the start of 2021 are experiencing political and personal crises analogous to what Dante confronted seven centuries earlier. Families are split according to political alliances. Homes are being lost to foreclosures. More walls are going up than doors are being opened. Pride leads us to blame others rather than accept any personal responsibility. We prefer to react rather than act in ways that lead to positive, forward motion. Dante’s epic, if read to the end, teaches that there is a better and more hopeful way.

“To follow Dante’s example, we must read widely and be open to more than one news source or a single viewpoint. We must recognize how breaking the law, whether God’s or man’s, easily leads to corruption, no matter how smart or rich the person is. We must take responsibility for our own actions, acknowledge when we are wrong, and engage in honest efforts to make amends. We must adopt long-term views and prioritize what matters most. Dante would argue that only then can one find the wisdom and the fortitude to endure to the end.” [. . .]    –Madison Sowell, DeseretNews, January 18, 2021.

 

The Guardian’s Opinion: Dante’s Heavenly Wisdom For Our Troubled Times

the-guardian-dantes-wisdom-in-troubled-times-2021“The artistic aspirations of the Divine Comedy were, of course, more profound than a mere settling of scores with people Dante didn’t like. His great work, completed in 1320, helped structure the theological imagination of the Catholic world. But as this year’s anniversary celebrations begin, it is the poet’s reflections on politics that strike a particular chord. He was as preoccupied with the consequences of factionalism and tribalism as we are.

“The explanation for that lies in Dante’s own turbulent biography. Prominent in the ferocious power struggles of medieval Florence, he at various points took up arms, held high office, was double-crossed by Pope Boniface VIII and subsequently died in exile. Writing the Divine Comedy, the author deals ruthlessly with those who engineered and profited from the poet’s banishment. Boniface’s card is marked in Canto XIX of Inferno. Filippo Argenti, a political rival, is placed in the fifth circle of hell, reserved for the wrathful, where he bites lumps out of himself for all eternity.” [. . .]    —The Guardian, January 14, 2021.

 

“The Forum: Dante’s Inferno: The Poetry of Hell”

the-forum-dantes-inferno-poetry-of-hell-2018“Inferno is the 14th century epic that tells the story of Dante Alighieri’s imaginary journey through the underworld. It is the first part of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, and is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest poems.

“Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here, is the famous phrase inscribed on the gates of Dante’s Inferno. Here Hell is divided into nine circles, with cruel and unusual punishments afflicting the sinners – who range from the lustful and cowardly in the upper circles to the malicious and fraudulent at the bottom of Hell.

“Joining Rajan Datar to explore the ideas and legacy of Dante’s Inferno is Dr Vittorio Montemaggi, author of Reading Dante’s Commedia as Theology; Claire Honess, Professor of Italian studies at the University of Leeds, and Sangjin Park, Professor of Comparative Literature at Busan University in South Korea, who will be speaking about the increasing popularity of Dante in his country and the role Inferno played in shaping Korea’s national identity.” [. . .]    —BBC, February 27, 2018.