Homer Simpson’s Donut Hell

Hell-Ironic-Punishments-Division-Door-SimpsonsThe Simpsons’ “Treehouse of Horror IV” (S05E05): after losing his soul to the devil in a bargain over a donut, Homer is subjected to punishments in Hell’s “Ironic Punishments Division,” where the demon in charge of force-feeding him donuts is astonished at his capacity.

See a clip from the episode on YouTube.

See also the action figure released by MacFarlane Toys (pictured below).

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William Matthews, “Grief”

Ohio-born poet William Matthews’s “Grief” (from the 1995 collection Time and Money) originally appeared in the November 29, 1993, issue of the New Yorker, with the title “Poem Ending With a Line From Dante” (accessible in the New Yorker archives, sign in required). In both versions, the poem ends with a translation of Inferno 24.151. Below is the version from Time and Money, with an image of the original publication in the New Yorker.

“Grief”

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E detto l’ho perché doler ti debbia!
Inferno, xxiv, 151

Snow coming in parallel to the street,
a cab spinning its tires (a rising whine
like a domestic argument, and then
the words get said that never get forgot),

slush and backed-up runoff waters at each
corner, clogged buses smelling of wet wool . . .
The acrid anger of the homeless swells
like wet rice. This slop is where I live, bitch,

a sogged panhandler shrieks to whom it may
concern. But none of us slows down for scorn;
there’s someone’s misery in all we earn.
But like a bur in a dog’s coat his rage

has borrowed legs. We bring it home. It lives
like kin among the angers of the house,
and leaves the same sharp zinc taste in the mouth:
And I have told you this to make you grieve.

Sequentia, Dante and the Troubadours (1993)

sequentia-album-cover“Although in the works of Dante Alighieri (d. 1321) illustrious poets are often mentioned, a special place of honour is reserved for the troubadours, the Occitan poet-singers of love and war from the 12th and 13th centuries. For this literary and absorbing CD, Bagby & Thornton perform songs (cansos) by six of the troubadours Dante most admired and described in his works.”    Sequentia, Dante and the Troubadours, 1993

Charles Wuorinen, “The Dante Trilogy” (1993-1996)

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“In his long composing life, Charles Wuorinen has drawn on an extremely wide range of intellectual and musical inspirations, including many from science and literature. The Dante Trilogy is among his most ambitious compositions, its source one of the great works of the Western intellectual canon. The three ballets each correspond to one of the books of Dante’s Divina Commedia: The Mission of Virgil to Inferno, The Great Procession to Purgatorio, and The River of Light to Paradiso; although rather than attempting to mirror the whole of Dante’s narrative, Wuorinen’s music relates to the detail and atmosphere of the books.”    —Naxos

Radio Inferno

radio-inferno-1993 “In 1993, German artist Andreas Ammer teamed up with members of Einsturzende Neubauten and legendary DJ John Peel to produce a radio play of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The result was Radio Inferno, with music by Einsturzende’s F.M. Einheit, and starring Blixa Bargeld as Dante, Phil Minton as Virgil, and John Peel as “The Radio” (the narrator). Caspar Brotzmann played guitar, and the work includes guest appearance from Bootsy Collins and many others.”    —WFMU, February 18, 2007

Contributed by Jenny Davidson