Martin Luther King, Jr., on Nonviolence (March 31, 1968)

“It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. And the alternative to disarmament, the alternative to a greater suspension of nuclear tests, the alternative to strengthening the United Nations and thereby disarming the whole world, may well be a civilization plunged into the abyss of annihilation, and our earthly habitat would be transformed into an inferno that even the mind of Dante could not imagine.   Martin Luther King, Jr., “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” Address delivered at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (March 31, 1968)

Read the full transcript at the website of the King Institute, Stanford University.

The image above comes from here, courtesy of the DC Public Library.

Carlos Alonso en el infierno (1968)

Carlos-Alonso-en-el-infierno-Dante

“Seguramente pasará a la historia como uno de los grandes genios de la ilustración argentina. Dibujante de un refinamiento enorme, Carlos Alonso elevó el género a alturas que sirvieron de plataforma para muchos. Su arte alcanzó una difusión tal que en 1963 integró junto a Doré, Daumier y Picasso un cuarteto elegido para difundir una serie de postales con ilustraciones de El Quijote en la entonces Unión Soviética.

“Es que seis años antes Alonso había ilustrado El Quijote tras haber ganado un concurso que lanzó la editorial Emecé. Con todo, dentro de su vasta producción que incluye ilustraciones para el Martín Fierro, Mademoiselle Fifi de Guy de Maupassant, series del poemario de Neruda y El Matadero de Echeverría, para muchos su obra cumbre fue y sigue siendo la serie de la Divina Comedia que realizó en 1968 parte de la cual se exhibe ahora en el Museo Franklin Rawson de San Juan junto a una serie de relieves sobre el Dante que muestran visiones y perspectivas diferentes de un mismo autor.” […] — Clarín.com (May 16, 2014)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “The First Circle” (1968)

alexander-solzhenitsyn-the-first-circle

The First Circle concerns worker-prisoners in the Soviet Gulag who are critically needed intelligence workers – mostly scientists and researchers. These intellectuals are, relatively speaking, the lucky ones. They live and work in an urban complex, and face little in the way of physical privation, regularly fed and decently clothed. They are the residents of the first circle of hell, with Solzhenitsyn explicitly comparing the Soviet dystopia to Dante’s Inferno. The novel haunts us with the awareness that far, far worse was taking place elsewhere. As a prisoner headed for the Gulag observes, with terrifying accuracy, at the end of the novel: ‘We are going into hell now. We are returning to hell. The sharashka is the highest, the best, the first circle of hell. It was almost paradise.'” [. . .]    –Saul Austerlitz, The Second Pass, August 4, 2009