“A White Canon in a World of Color,” by Sierra Lomuto

“I was recently in my hometown of San Francisco, walking through the Mission district on Christmas Eve looking for a place to pop into and get some work done. I had some grading to finish for my Chaucer class. I worked for a bit in a café at Valencia and 24th St. But when it closed early at 4pm, because of the holiday, I made my way toward the local library a couple blocks away.

[. . .]

“Wrapped around the face of the building were etchings of names, six per column, and the first read: Homer, Virgil, Rabelais, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dante. My eyes followed the carved words around to the side where they ended, each name digging a pit deeper into my stomach. Here I was, in the heart of the Mission, a Latinx neighborhood for as long as most San Franciscans’ memories can reach back to, and a building that is meant to represent knowledge, learning, community, safety. . . is encased with the names of white men. I wanted this old stone building, this old library in the Mission, to offer me some solace amidst a devastating present, to remind me that knowledge, education, and learning are paths out of socio-economic oppression.

“Instead, it reminded me that those paths too often lead us toward our own epistemological oppression—and do too little for the places and people we came from. The façade of the Mission library reminded me that those paths belong to white men; the rest of us merely walk them. [. . .]”   –Sierra Lomuto, “A White Canon in a World of Color,” Medievalists of Color (March 26, 2019)

@Dante_Alighieri Twitter Profile

“Twitter profile dedicated to Dante Alighieri (@Dante_Aligheri) managed by Matteo Maselli, which periodically publishes original material related to the Italian poet: reports of Dantean cultural events, open-access educational material, breaking news. The profile was opened to make available to Dantisti and scholars in general an open space for free consultation and exchange of ideas.”  — Contributor Matteo Maselli

Contributed by Matteo Maselli (Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, 2017)

“Beauty Awakens the Soul to Act” by Angelica Hopes

“We visited the house of Dante Alighieri. It’s rebuilt to celebrate the place of Dante Alighieri’s birth and its location is based on old documents reported from 13th century of the houses of the Alighieri family. [. . .]

“On the first floor, documents of the 13th century Florence and the younger days of Dante, his baptism in the Baptistery of Santa Maria del Fiore, his public life, his election in the office of prior of the town and his participation in political/military struggles, there are plastic model of the Battle of Campaldino and interesting weapons of that time.

“Going to the 2nd floor, shows the documents in connection with his painful exile in 1301, year of condemnation. In the 3rd floor, there’s the collection of documents on the fortune of Dante through the centuries, iconography. While sitting inside, admiring the historical artefacts and rich information on the influences of Florentine history to Dante Alighieri’s work, I was speechless and absorbed the moment with gratitude reflecting from my English term paper project in fourth year high school on the Divine Comedy, twenty three years later here I am and I got a copy of La Divina Commedia in its original language.” [. . .]     –Angelica Hopes, Landscapes of a Heart, October 27, 2012.

“The Seven Circles of Dishwashing Hell”

“I don’t want to be dramatic or anything, but sometimes, even the most mundane of chores becomes epic to me. Dante Alighieri may have been writing about Hell in his Inferno, but it seems just like dishwashing to me.

Every night after dinner, it goes something like this:

Limbo – Some people think dinner is over. Some people just finally sat down to eat 30 seconds ago. No one is actively clearing the table, but some dishes are in the sink.

[. . .]

Gluttony – So I ate the brownies and ice cream. And it became like the mud Virgil (Dante’s guide in the underworld, you’ll recall) fed to the three mouths of Cerberus.

[. . .]

Violence – A river of blood (how my hands feel right now) is where Dante finds those who are violent to their neighbor. Gnarled thorny trees (how my hands feel) are those who are violent to themselves. The great plain of burning sand (does anyone have any Bag Balm? I think the skin on my hands needs revitalizing!) is what awaits those who are violent toward God.

[. . .]

The absolute center of hell – Like Lucifer, half submerged in the ice lake, one last thing remains in the sink: the soggy, stubborn end of an onion, carelessly tossed in the there and causing a slow drain. I pluck it out and head literally to the TV room, but metaphorically into the River of Lethe, or forgetfulness. Otherwise, why would I do this again tomorrow night?”    –Beth McConnell, A Madison Mom, September 10, 2016

Smokin’ Guns Hell

“4th Circle – Motiveless Kickers: Condemned to obsessively kick each other.

[. . .]

9th Circle – Wallhackers: Condemned to play against invisible opponents, and completely surrounded by fog.”    –Biondo, Lame Clan, June 19, 2011

Learn more about the first-person shooter video game, Smokin’ Guns, here.

“Every Major Piece of Art Featured in Beyoncé and Jay Z’s Apesh*t Video”

Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta appraised by Dante and Virgil (1835)

“This work by Ary Scheffer depicts a scene from Dante’s Inferno, but not just any scene. In it, Dante and Virgil can be seen watching Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta in hell. The reason they’re in hell? Infidelity. The pair fell in love and carried on affair, despite both being married. Upon finding out, Francesca’s husband, who also happened to be Paolo’s brother, murdered them.”    —Jesse Kinos-Goodin, CBC Radio Canada, June 18, 2018

The Nine Circles of Libertarian Hell

Distributed-republic-blog-banner-nine-circles-libertarian-hellFirst Circle—The Virtuous Heathens: Those who care strongly about liberty in one particular sphere (e.g. freedom of speech, freedom of religious practice, the drug war, etc.) but don’t care much about it other spheres. These people are infuriating for their lack of general theory underlying their politics, but at least they’ve sorta got the right idea and can make themselves somewhat useful. This circle contains members of the NRA, ACLU & other such single-issue organizations, and is guarded by John Stuart Mill.

“Second Circle—The Lustful: Those who fall madly in love with a dim vision they have of a more egalitarian society and then hastily rush off to elope with it, without giving much thought about just how much promise there really is in the relationship. These people’s hearts are often in the right place but they show a frightening lack of concern for whether or not the policies they endorse are actually likely to accomplish the goals they desire. This circle is filled with innumerable bleeding-hearts and is guarded by Thomas Sowell. [. . .]    –Matt McIntosh, The Distributed Republic, June 30, 2007.

Read the full list of the “Libertarian circles of Hell” on the Distributed Republic.

Sergio Ucedo’s #Dante2018 Artwork

Sergio Ucedo is an Argentine illustrator and graffiti artist. Ucedo created a number of striking art pieces during the #Dante2018 social media movement, such as the above piece promoting the hashtag. Ucedo also created the artwork below, which was featured in an article about #Dante2018 on Perfil.

To check out more of Ucedo’s artwork, you can follow him on Instagram and Twitter, and also visit his blog.

You can read the Perfil article that featured Ucedo’s artwork here.

See other posts related to #Dante2018 here.

Contributed by Pablo Maurette (Florida State University)

“#Dante2018: la selva oscura que supimos conseguir”

“En mayo de 2014, un célebre usuario de Twitter realizaba un encomio de la red social en el blog TP, propuso interpretarla como un género literario sui generis, por cumplir con los componentes de tradición e innovación que debe exigírsele a cualquier tipificación del discurso que se precie de tal. Twitter tiene sus raíces en un género tan antiguo como el aforismo y, al mismo tiempo, barre con todas las categorías literarias modernas:

“Su naturaleza colectiva, masiva, interactiva, compuesta de usuarios que son a un tiempo escritores, lectores, personajes y críticos, y su rígida ley de los 140 caracteres bastan para consolidarlo como género literario autosuficiente. Pero Twitter no es un simple género más. Su excepcionalidad radica en ser a la vez género y obra, medio y mensaje, texto y contexto: aterradora máquina autopoiética, work-in-progress infinito que se autorregenera, se reformula, y se renueva segundo a segundo.

“Como si hubiera querido poner a prueba su propia teoría, Pablo Maurette, el responsable de esas palabras, lanzó en noviembre de 2017 una consigna: empezar el 2018 leyendo La divina comedia, a razón de un canto por día, y compartir opiniones, más o menos eruditas, a través de Twitter con el hashtag #Dante2018. La aterradora máquina autopoiética se echó a andar: miles de usuarios de distintas partes del mundo adhirieron a la propuesta, colocando a #Dante2018 entre los hashtags más mencionados en varios países de habla hispana los primeros días de enero. Es imposible diagnosticar hoy cuál pueda ser su alcance final. Maurette, entusiasmado, ya lo describe como el club de lectura más grande de la historia.” [. . .]    –Alejandro Virué, El Espectador, January 7, 2018.

See other posts related to #Dante2018 here.

Contributed by Pablo Maurette (Florida State University)

“#Dante2018, o la esperanza en la lectura”

“Estimado lector, alcanza con abrir una cuenta en esta red social desde su e-mail para participar en #Dante2018 (hashtag o palabra clave con la que accederá desde el buscador a los tuits al respecto). Con el teléfono celular o la computadora, todos los días tendrá acceso a cada canto de La Commedia, nombre original del poema, en su versión en la lengua creada por Dante y traducción castellana (http://guarna.in/dante/). Luego, aparecen los aportes y las referencias de usuarios en la red. Si de un laberinto se trata, este es el más amable: a nadie le importa el Minotauro ni dónde está la salida. Todos los aportes hacen a una edición comentada, “iluminada” (a la manera de los manuscritos medievales), lo que lleva a una lectura profunda y al enriquecimiento de esta en el debate colectivo.

“El profesor y escritor Pablo Maurette, impulsor de este fenómeno, no imaginó que su propuesta tendría semejante resonancia: ‘En la última encuesta, 2.500 personas confirmaron que leían. Muchas de ellas aclararon que leían con más gente en sus casas (gente que no votó, que no tiene cuenta en Twitter), y después hay muchos más en Facebook. Al menos participan tres mil personas’. También confirma que ocurre otro fenómeno, el pasaje de lo virtual a lo real: ‘Ya existen algunos blogs, gente haciendo cosas muy creativas, como ilustraciones, GIFs, incluso grafitis. Y para el fin de cada cántica estamos organizando eventos. Para el final del Infierno (sábado 3 de febrero a las 19) convocamos a un concierto en la Usina del Arte de Buenos Aires, con obras dantescas de Franz Liszt interpretadas por el pianista Leandro Rodríguez Jáuregui, seguido de una lectura del canto final del Infierno por Silvia Magnavacca, profesora de filosofía medieval y eximia dantista.'” [. . .]    –Ursula Ures Poreda, Perfil, January 27, 2018.

The above art is by illustrator and visual artist Sergio Ucedo. You can check out more of Ucedo’s work on his Twitter.

See other posts related to #Dante2018 here.

Contributed by Pablo Maurette (Florida State University)