Aesop Rock, “Abandon All Hope” (1997)

Abandon All Hope” is the first song on hip-hop musician Aesop Rock’s premier album, Music for Earthworms (1997).

Aesop Rock’s albums can be streamed on Apple, Spotify, Google Play, Bandcamp, and Twitch.

Krittika Ramanujan, Dante Prints


Musicians on the Beach: Purgatory

My work uses prints, drawings, paintings and short films to look at the human conditions of loss, suffering, exile, death, memory, and the past. Art for me is a way to explore questions that cannot be answered. Questions like “what is death? Is human nature good or evil? Why is there such suffering? what is fate?”

A work of art should contain more than one idea. For instance, the beauty of colour in an image may draw a viewer in, while the horrible subject pushes them away. A horrible image may be initially taken as something beautiful. An event in real life, and the depiction of such an event in art are quite different. These are two separate realms of experience. It is up to each viewer to experience it for themselves, or not. It is not the artist’s business to tell them what to think, or what response to have.

I have three ongoing bodies of work. One is inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy. The second is on mammal skeletons, both modern and prehistoric. The third is about human rights, mainly the issue of lynching.

Each print seems to me like a page torn from a novel, in which the viewer can imagine what came before and after. Drawing is a way of thinking, discovering and feeling, so these works are primarily drawing based.  –Artist Statement, Krittika Ramanujan


Dante Inferno Piekło (1997)

Dante PiekloIn 1997, Polish and Italian artists staged an adaptation of the Inferno at the Franciscan Church in Kraków. Pictured is the poster for the show, created by Rafal Olbinski.


Sabrina the Teenage Witch, “Dante’s Inferno”

Sabrina the Teenage WitchIn a 1997 episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, titled “Dante’s Inferno,” Sabrina goes on a date with Dante, a mischievous witch.

View the full episode here.


Contributed by Stephanie Hotz, University of Texas at Austin

William John Meegan, “The Sistine Chapel: A Study in Celestial Cartography” (2012)

william-john-meegan-the-sistine-chapel-a-study-in-celestial-cartography“Through a comprehensive comparative analysis of the symbolic and esoteric patterns codified to the Judeao Christian Scriptures, the landscape of Jerusalem, Chartres Cathedral (stone and glass), Dante Alighieri’s La Divina Commedia (pen and ink), the Sistine Chapel (mosaics, paint and wet plaster) and Saint Peter’s Basilica (marble) the reader can determine for him or herself the efficacy of the esoteric science, which hails from the dawn of the time/space continuum as a direct missive from God.
The author discovered a relatively simple and yet extremely sophisticated mathematical and grammatical system of thought in ancient literature: the integration of the Seven Liberal Arts.” [. . .]    –William John Meegan’s website

See other Dante-related books by William John Meegan:

  • “The Secrets & the Mysteries of Genesis: Antiquity’s Hall of Records,” published by Trafford Publishers, 2003. Chapter 7 discusses Dante mathematics.
  • “The Conquest of Genesis: A Study in Universal Creation Mathematics,” published by the Edwin Mellen Press, 1997. This study analyzes the Commedia’s compositional structure and its sophisticated mathematical system.

Loreena McKennitt, “Dante’s Prayer” (Book of Secrets, 1997)

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone
I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars
Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me
Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and the fire
Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars
Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We’ll rise above these earthly cares
Please remember me

(from AZ Lyrics)

Cover of “The New Yorker,” April 21, 1997

Seen in the Edward Sorel illustration are three tiers of political sinners: “Politicians Who Promised to Cut Taxes,” “Politicians Who Promised to Balance the Budget,” and finally (and most egregiously) “Politicians Who Promised to Cut Taxes and  Balance the Budget” (detail shown below).


Tom Shadyac, “Liar Liar” (1997)

tom-shadyac-liar-liar-1997“The lawyer, played by Jim Carrey is having a terrible day and when he meets the witness he will be questioning in court later that afternoon, the guy asks, ‘how ya doin?’ and Fletcher Reed (played by Carrey) responds, ‘I’ve slipped into the 7th circle of hell how does it look like im doing!!!'”    –Yoni Shemesh

Contributed by Yoni Shemesh (Bowdoin, ’09)

McFarlane, McElroy, Dippe’, “Spawn” (1997)

spawn“The movie adaptation of Todd McFarlane’s mega-cult comic! Al Simmons is a hitman who works for the government. One day, someone sets him up and he gets killed. Of course, he goes to Hell, where Malebolgia – the Devil himself – offers him a deal. Al will come back to life with a certain amount of “energy”, but when it runs out, he will return to Hell as a Hellspawn, and help in the war against Heaven. Al accepts the offer, because of the love for his wife Wanda, but when he arrives to Earth he sees that the Devil has cheated him… His face is horribly distorted, his body covered with a living suit, and the worst of all; he finds Wanda married with his best friend. Shattered, the Spawn starts wandering in New York’s alleys.” [. . .]    –Chris Makrozahopoulos, IMDb

The Divine Comedy, “A Short Album About Love” (1997)

the-divine-comedy-a-short-album-about-love-1997“The Divine Comedy is Neil Hannon. Over the years, the name has encompassed other musicians, but the driving force of the band and its main (sometimes only!) member has always been Neil Hannon. He chose the name ‘The Divine Comedy’ aged 18, almost at random. He and two Enniskillen school friends needed a new name for their band and Neil spotted a copy of Dante’s epic poem on the family bookshelf. It stuck, and a year later it was the name under which the trio signed to Irish run indie Setanta Records. They left Northern Ireland, moved into a squat in London, released a mini-album, 1990’s REM/Ride influenced ‘Fanfare for the Comic Muse’ and ’91’s ‘Europop’ E.P. then split up. Neil’s bandmates went to university and Neil returned home.”    —The Divine Comedy