The Nine Circles of Libertarian Hell

Distributed-republic-blog-banner-nine-circles-libertarian-hellFirst Circle—The Virtuous Heathens: Those who care strongly about liberty in one particular sphere (e.g. freedom of speech, freedom of religious practice, the drug war, etc.) but don’t care much about it other spheres. These people are infuriating for their lack of general theory underlying their politics, but at least they’ve sorta got the right idea and can make themselves somewhat useful. This circle contains members of the NRA, ACLU & other such single-issue organizations, and is guarded by John Stuart Mill.

“Second Circle—The Lustful: Those who fall madly in love with a dim vision they have of a more egalitarian society and then hastily rush off to elope with it, without giving much thought about just how much promise there really is in the relationship. These people’s hearts are often in the right place but they show a frightening lack of concern for whether or not the policies they endorse are actually likely to accomplish the goals they desire. This circle is filled with innumerable bleeding-hearts and is guarded by Thomas Sowell. [. . .]    –Matt McIntosh, The Distributed Republic, June 30, 2007.

Read the full list of the “Libertarian circles of Hell” on the Distributed Republic.

When Seagulls Cry (2007)

Umineko no Naku Koro ni is a Japanese visual novel developed by 07th Expansion. The title translates to When Seagulls Cry in English. The series was released in Japan from 2007-2011, and globally through 2016-2017.

“The story focuses on a group of eighteen people on a secluded island for a period of two days, and the mysterious murders that befall them. Readers are challenged to discern whether the murders were committed by a human or of some other supernatural source, as well as the method and motive behind them.” [. . .]    —Umineko When They Cry, Wikipedia, 2018.

Fans of the series have pointed out several references to Dante’s work in the series, such as these found by readers on MyAnimeList:

“I’ve started reading Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy few days ago and I found several analogies with Umineko.

  1. “Names:
    Beatrice – name of deceased Dante’s love, his guide through Heaven
    Virgil – name of Dante’s guide through Hell and Purgatorio
  2. “Structure of Mt. Purgatorio is of the form 2+7+1=9+1=10, with one of the ten regions different in nature from the other nine ( last – Earthly Paradise). It may resemble 10 twilights of the Witch’s Epitaph.
  3. “Dante meets Beatrice at 10th floor, Battler meets Beato at 10th twilight
  4. “Seven Stakes resemble floors 3rd- 9th of Mt. Purgatorio (each floor represents 1 of 7 deadly sins.)
  5. “Magic circles in Umineko have a same names as the Spheres of Heaven:
    First Sphere of the Moon –> First Circle of the Moon” [. . .]    —Azakus, MyAnimeList, October 11, 2009.

To see more of the Dante references fans of When Seagulls Cry have found, check out the full forum discussion on MyAnimeList.

You can buy When Seagulls Cry and check out other games in the series on Steam.

Contributed by Philip Smith (University of the Bahamas)

Pia come la canto io, Album by Gianna Nannini (2007)

“Dolente Pia, dolente Pia,
Gianna-Nannini-Pia-come-la-canto-io-Dantedolente Pia innocente è prigioniera.
Col capo chino, la fronte al seno,
pensa a quei giorni del passato ricordi in fior.

“Torna, sento già la tua luce nell’anima.
Sei qui con me, sono le braccia tue che stringo.
Per quanti mesi e notti e giorni,
non saprei dire, non lo so ma questo è certo:
ci fu l’inverno, poi primavera,
la vita torna nel castello ma non per me.
Guarda se ne va questo sogno di te.
Là batte l’onda e un cavallo galoppa.
Ma l’amore, il nostro amore, marcisce dietro a questa porta.

“Ma l’amore, questo amore, marcisce dietro a quella porta.
Fa sempre freddo, in quelle mura,
il cielo è chiaro ma la terra resta scura.
Poi il primo verde, la lunga luce,
pensa a quei giorni del passato ricordi in fior.
Dolente Pia, dolente Pia,
Dolente Pia innocente è prigioniera.
Col capo chino, la fronte al seno,
pensa a quei giorni del passato ricordi in fior.”

–“Dolente Pia,” from the 2007 album Pia come la canto io by Gianna Nannini

Listen to the song here.

For a comparative analysis of Dante’s Pia with Nannini’s, see the blog laletteraturaenoi.it.

Contributed by Anna Lisa Somma (University of Birmingham)

Marcello Toninelli’s Dante: La Divina Commedia a Fumetti (2007)

Toninelli's DanteMarcello Toninelli, Italian cartoonist, published a comic-strip version of The Divine Comedy beginning in 2007.

“Così il fiorentino Alighieri raccontava il suo viaggio all’Inferno, ma è risaputo che… faceva la Commedia! Il senese Marcello la racconta in un altro modo, decisamente più divertente. Nell’Oltretomba nato dalla sua irriverente matita Omero gioca a mosca cieca, Cerbero mangia alla mensa diavoli e Virgilio fa, suo malgrado… il parafulmine! Seguendo rispettosamente il tracciato dell’opera originale ma occhieggiando continuamente al nostro presente, con quest’opera Marcello ha realizzato la più completa, esilarante e irresistibile parodia del capolavoro dantesco.”    —Amazon.it

Click here to visit Toninelli’s blog, “Io e Dante”.

Contributed by Angela Lavecchia

Translation of The Divine Comedy with Illustrations (2007)

translation-divine-comedy-illustrations-2007“This new edition of Dante’s great work brings together for the first time the three volumes of the Hollander translation with the art of internationally recognized illustrator Monika Beisner. Beisner has created 100 detailed paintings for this publication, making her the first woman credited with illustrating the entire work. The set begins with an introduction by Carlo Carena and a foreword by Academy Award winning actor Roberto Benigni, known for his lectures and dramatic recitations of Dante’s poem. The third volume ends with an appreciation by writer and cultural historian Marina Warner entitled ‘Monika Beisner: Illuminating Stories.’ Warner writes, ‘The hundred miniatures took her seven years to complete and the achievement is dazzling. The present volume reproduces her work full-size, … with no strokes or drawing visible, but a pure glow of dense color, applied with brushes so small they consist of a half-dozen sable hairs.… Monika Beisner has been scrupulously loyal to Dante’s text, rendering gesture and position as described in the poem as well as its unsurpassed precision of spatial, geographical and temporal coordinates.’ ” [. . .]    —Oak Knoll Press

Paul Thigpen, “My Visit to Hell” (2007)

paul-thigpen-my-visit-to-hell-2007“My novel ‘My Visit to Hell‘ (rev. ed, Realms, 2007, originally appeared in 1992 under the title ‘Gehenna’) explicitly borrows the basic story line and what might be called the ‘moral topography of hell’ from Dante’s ‘Inferno,’ but the story begins in 21st-century Atlanta. For an analysis of the book and an author interview, see ‘Eschatology: Paul Thigpen’s ‘My Visit to Hell” (chapter 5) and ‘An Interview With Paul Thigpen’ (Appendix I) in Darren J. N. Middleton, ‘Theology After Reading: Christian Imagination and the Power of Fiction‘ (Baylor University Press, 2008).”    –Paul Thigpen

Contributed by Paul Thigpen

YelworC: Trinity and Icolation

yelworc-trinityyelworc-icolation
German band yelworC‘s recent work finds its roots in the Divine Comedy. Trinity (2004) and Icolation (2007) were inspired by Dante’s Inferno and Purgatory, respectively, and a third CD, tentatively titled “Any Heaven?” is to follow.

Lee K. Abbott, “One of Star Wars, One of Doom” (2007)

lee-k-abbott-one-of-star-wars-one-of-doom-2007“The story follows Mr. DeWine, a high school civics teacher looking for the love that will bring meaning to his middle years, and the two alienated students who plot death, havoc, and woe.”    —Fantastic Fiction

“The first reference is to the two high school boys who shoot up the school as ‘founding members of the ninth circle.’ (Abbott) The second reference is made by Mr. DeWine as he notes a student’s inscription on a desk in his classroom, ”Abandon all hope,’ someone has scribbled. Dante-what a bozo. Blame the whole fiasco on Beatrice.’ (Abbott) This reference foreshadows the outcome of the story.    –Katie Tiller

Contributed by Katie Tiller (University of Texas at Austin)

Gloria Naylor, Linden Hills (1985)

gloria-naylor-linden-hills-1985 “Gloria Naylor’s Linden Hills follows two young black male poets on their downward journey through a prosperous community built for blacks who aspire to live out a white-patented dream of social advancement. Naylor’s appropriation of Dante’s Inferno as master narrative for this landscape of private torments (a white model for black society) replicates the choice made by Linden Hills itself. The ironies of this are rich and difficult to control: but the attention paid to the sufferings of women in this arrangement adds something quite new to the English-language Dante tradition.”    –David Wallace, “Dante in English,” in Rachel Jacoff’s The Cambridge Companion to Dante, 2007

Professor Fate, “Inferno” (2007)

professor-fate-inferno-2007“Professor Fate is a solo project from Mick Kenney (Anaal Nathrakh/Exploder/Mistress) Professor Fate produce cinematic style music, a form of epic classical that fuses intertwined drumbeats with orchestral Rock and electronic sounds. The music screams “soundtrack” in its every audible moment, with grand, sweeping soundscapes that inspire cinematic imagery even in the dark. ‘Inferno’ presents you with a powerfully potent journey through the caverns of the underworld, inspired by Dante Alighieri’s book, ‘The Divine Comedy.'”    —CD Universe