Natsume Sōseki, The Wayfarer (Kojin) (1912)

“[I]t gradually becomes clear that marriages good and bad, arranged and romantic are constants in this narrative. Suffering from a kind of existential crisis, Ichiro’s marriage to Nao is in trouble. Ichiro even suspects that his feckless younger brother Jiro has been carrying on with Nao, and voices despairing references to Paolo and Francesca from Dante’s Inferno. The third part of the book covers the period after they all return to Tokyo from their travels. As Ichiro and Nao’s marriage continues to deteriorate, Nao is tight-lipped, refusing to argue or complain, while Ichiro seems close to a nervous breakdown.”   –B. Morrison, “The Wayfarer (Kojin), by Natsume Sōseki” (March 22, 2010)

See also our post on Sōseki’s 1908 novel The Miner.

Dante Window by Violet Oakley

Collection of Divine Comedy inspired work by artist Violet Oakley, kept by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Dante Park, Columbus Ave and W 63rd St., NYC

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(photo by Steven Maginnis)

“The New York branch of the Dante Alighieri Society had intended to erect a Dante monument on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Italian unification in 1912. Carlo Barsotti, editor of Il Progresso (the first Italian daily newspaper in the United States), urged subscribers to contribute towards the creation the statue. . . The monument was dedicated that year, which was the 600th anniversary of Dante’s death. . .In 1921 the south portion of Empire Park was officially renamed by the Board of Aldermen for Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321).” [. . .]    —NYC GovParks