25 March: Dantedì

“Il Consiglio dei ministri, su proposta del ministro per i Beni e le attività culturali e per il turismo, Dario Franceschini, ha approvato la direttiva che istituisce per il 25 marzo la giornata nazionale dedicata a Dante Alighieri. ‘Ogni anno, il 25 marzo, data che gli studiosi riconoscono come inizio del viaggio nell’aldilà della Divina Commedia, si celebrerà il Dantedì. Una giornata per ricordare in tutta Italia e nel mondo il genio di Dante con moltissime iniziative che vedranno un forte coinvolgimento delle scuole, degli studenti e delle istituzioni culturali.’

“‘A un anno dalle celebrazioni dei 700 anni dalla morte di Dante’ – ha aggiunto Franceschini –  ‘sono già tanti i progetti al vaglio del Comitato per le celebrazioni presieduto dal prof. Carlo Ossola. Dante’ – ha concluso Franceschini – ‘ricorda molte cose che ci tengono insieme: Dante è l’unità del Paese, Dante è la lingua italiana, Dante è l’idea stessa di Italia.'”   –“Dante Alighieri entra in calendario: il 25 marzo sarà ‘Dantedì,'” La Repubblica (17 gennaio 2020)

Contributed by Ludovica Valentini (Florida State University, MA ’18)

Apparitions from the Inferno

A series of Black and White photographs produced using alternative manual processes, featuring scenes from Dante’s Divine Comedy.

[. . .]

Many of my previous works have referenced classical literature and mythology (Hamlet, Maenads, etc). The subject of this project involves creating intimate portraits of characters referenced in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Specifically, I will be illustrating a number of souls from the first book in the series: The Inferno. I have had a long standing interest in the graphic quality and descriptiveness that Dante dictates in this work, and I believe that my photographic style and choice of medium will do great justice in giving life to these characters. I greatly admire the works of the Great Illustrator/Printmaker Gustave Dore, and my favorite contemporary Artist/Printmaker Barry Moser, who have both produced amazing images inspired by Dante. In the works of the aforementioned artists, high contrast renderings of often graphic and disturbing images are manifested through their respective mediums to present a dark underworld and its inhabitants as described by Dante. My intention is to bring Dante’s characters out of the realm of illustration and breath life into them through photographic realization, thereby actualizing their spirits (in a very surreal and ethereal manner) as real people.”    –John Ransom, Kickstarter, August 3, 2013

Le interviste impossibili: Umberto Eco incontra Beatrice

“Qui puoi ascoltare ‘l’intervista impossibile’ che Umberto Eco realizzò con Beatrice, la ‘donna di Dante.’

[. . .]

In questo dialogo, il filosofo italiano è il primo a offrire a Beatrice la possibilità di esprimere le proprie opinioni e i propri sentimenti. La vostra immagine di Dante Alighieri ne uscirà certamente alterata.

Beatrice discute con Eco in un ottimo italiano, ma utilizza spesso (siamo infatti, almeno dal suo punto di vista, nella Firenze del XIII secolo) espressioni e forme che non appartengono all’italiano standard di oggi.”    –Italiana Lingua e Cultura, YouTube, June 29, 2016

Inferno – The Great Books Podcast

The 66th episode of The Great Books podcast featured a discussion of the Inferno hosted by John J. Miller. It was posted on National Review on January 15, 2019.

Dante the Snake

His original name was going to be Alucard, which is Dracula spelled backward, but it took quite a bit of convincing from Rudolph and the other roommates to deem it an unwise decision. After a few moments debate, they decided to call him Dante, after the famous poet who wrote the Divine Comedy.”    –Kathryn Coffey, The Decaturian, February 25, 2019

Dante’s 10th Circle of Hell Is Yoga Sculpt

“I don’t like horror movies. I think it’s because I don’t find violence or death to be that entertaining. I’m not trying to be holier-than-thou – I just really, really dislike being scared.

“It’s probably because I’m scared all the time, anyway (it’s a byproduct of my anxiety. Basically, any time I’m alone and anything happens, I freak out). So when I see people paying for the privilege of being scared out of their minds, I am incredibly confused, and also start wondering if people would pay for the VR-experience of being Geraldine. I once had a panic attack because of a Boston Terrier. A Boston Terrier. IT’S BASICALLY THE YODA OF THE DOG WORLD AND I WAS SO SCARED I COULDN’T BREATHE. There has to be money in that, right?” […]    –Geraldine DeRuiter, The Everywhereist, January 16, 2016

Dante’s Inferno: Too Darn Hot in Derby Trial

“The outstanding two-year-old of 2018 gets his first chance to show if he can be the outstanding three-year-old of 2019. We are set to learn plenty but one thing is clear – Too Darn Hot is returning in one darn hot Dante.

“Andrew Lloyd Webber’s unbeaten son of Dubawi spent the winter dominating the 2,000 Guineas market after ending his juvenile season with the same Racing Post Rating posted by the mighty Frankel as a two-year-old. However, the runaway Dewhurst Stakes winner failed to make the Newmarket Classic.

“Instead, he makes a belated return as clear favourite for a wonderfully exciting Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes – but no longer as favourite for the Investec Derby.” […]    –Lee Mottershead and David Jennings, Racing Post, May 16, 2019

3 Displaced by Dante House Fire

“Three people are without a home after a Sunday morning house fire in Dante, according to emergency officials.

“Russell County EMA Director Jess Powers says firefighters responded to a home on Upper Bear Wallow Road around 10:47 a.m. The fire was called in by a neighbor, he says.

“According to Powers, three people live in the home but were not there at the time of the fire.

“The Red Cross has been called in to assist the victims.

“As of 1 p.m., first responders were still on scene.

“The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.” […]    –Slater Teague, News Channel 11, November 11, 2018

Dante’s Treachery: Bass Library

“If you are ever wondering what the absolute bottom of hell is like, step no farther than (B)ass Library. This tri-level torture chamber has everything: sleep-deprived students, crying teens, those who have brought their entire desktop computers just to play Fortnite, some old people, the occasional free doughnut and self-centered students taking up an entire four-person table. Don’t pretend you’re not a little curious about all the sad, eye-bagged Yalies who look like they’d rather be literally set on fire than trudging down those steps into the dark abyss. Behold: a multilayer, cubicle-filled hell of self-inflicted punishment and internal damnation that you’re doomed to revisit even after you swear it’s too “scene-y” during your first semester of the year. Welcome to Bass.

“When you walk into the library, you’ll first find yourself in Bass Cafe. Consider this your purgatory. Here, you’ll find round tables with obnoxious clubs trying to harass you as you’re on your way to study and people sitting there solely looking to be seen “studying” with just a laptop out — they’re probably watching Netflix or copying down the most recent economics problem set. Once you enter the library, you’ll see the first layer of this hell. This level feels slightly less terrible than the other pits because it has the suggestion of sunlight. But don’t be fooled; before you hit the steps down into the lower levels, look to your right and you will see roughly six to 14 people completely knocked out in uncomfortable chairs, each in pretzel-like positions having tried but given up on ever making it back outside.” […]    –Lindsay Jost, Yale Daily News, October 25, 2018

School Zones Belong Inside Dante’s Inferno

“Those important pieces of classical writing that I read in college are a little fuzzy these days. That’s what happens when the music you listened to in college has been on classic rock stations for the past five years.

“But I need to reread Dante’s Inferno because I only remember (with the aid of Google) nine circles of hell in the poem.

“But I’m sure there is a 10th.

“The 10 circles of hell have to be limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud, treachery and school parking lots during pick-up/drop-off time.” […]    –Dale Miller, The Independent, September 9, 2018