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

HIM, “Venus Doom” (2007)

him-venus-doom-2007“‘Venus Doom’ is said to have multiple layers, ranging from beautiful melodies to crunchy guitars–a contrast that HIM was striving for. The idea to have nine songs was based on Dante’s Inferno, ’cause hell has nine layers, so it’s like going deeper down into hell and then coming back,’ [band’s frontman] Valo said.”    —Live Daily (retrieved July 7, 2009)

Diana Puntar, “Less Than Day, or Night” (2007)

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Less Than Day, Or Night, my recent sculptural installation at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, continues to explore what I call ‘homemade futurism.’ The piece is inspired by the final cantos of Dante’s Inferno in which Dante, led by Virgil, enters the freezing central pit of hell. At the end, as the pair climb their way out, Dante believes he is descending and becomes disoriented as they reach the top. Like many of us, he is fundamentally confused about the orientation of the world. I find it comforting to know that this kind of basic uncertainty has been with us for centuries.” [. . .]    –Diana Puntar, NY Arts Magazine

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

Stephenie Meyer, “Eclipse” (2007)

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“This was beyond the seventh circle of Hades.”  p. 59 of Stephenie Meyer, Eclipse (NY: Little Brown Publishing, 2007)

Contributed by Audrey Adams (Oklahoma University, ’09)

Guy Raffa, “Danteworlds” (2007)

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guy-raffa-danteworlds-2007-2009“It’s not a video game and it’s not CliffsNotes–Danteworlds is ‘an integrated multimedia journey’ through Dante’s Divine Comedy. Situated somewhere in cyberspace between EverQuest and Solitaire, it’s a terrific way to lose a month’s worth of lunchtime in a cubicle. Most literary texts don’t lend themselves to the ‘integrated multimedia’ approach, which often just whisks readers off the page into biographical or literary analysis land and strands them there. But, in the case of The Divine Comedy, and perhaps other epic poetry–the Odyssey comes to mind–the approach is a perfect marriage of medium and message, launching the reader right into the allegorical action, heightening rather than dulling appreciation and comprehension.” [. . .]    –Vicky Raab, The New Yorker, January 9, 2009

Francine Rivers, “Redeeming Love” (2007)

francine-rivers-redeeming-love-2007The beginning of Chapter 11 begins, “In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself in a dark wood.”

Contributed by Mary Scott George

Mark Mills, “The Savage Garden” (2007)

mark-mills-the-savage-garden-2007“A villa in the Tuscan hills is the setting for this gracefully executed literary puzzle. A Cambridge student wins a fellowship to study the villa’s Renaissance garden, built by a Florentine banker in memory of his wife. Consulting sources like Ovid and Dante, he is able to unlock the garden’s shocking secrets.” [. . .]    –Elsa Dixler, The New York Times, May 25, 2008

Matilde Asensi, “The Last Cato” (2007)

matilde-asensi-the-last-cato-2007Asensi’s first novel to be published in English features a clandestine religious organization, a code contained in the work of a long-dead genius, a plucky heroine, and just the right combination of obscure history and plausible conjecture. Sound familiar? The Last Cato will inevitably draw comparisons to The Da Vinci Code, but this book is in many ways more compelling, if a bit less accessible. After Dr. Ottavia Salina, a nun working as a paleographer at the Vatican, is asked to decipher tattoos on the dead body of an ‘enemy of the Church’ from Ethiopia, she soon discovers the deceased was tied up with the Staurofilakes, an ancient order who have sought to protect the True Cross and now seem to be stealing slivers of it from around the world. The key to tracking them down? Dante’s Divine Comedy. Turns out that Dante was a member of the order himself, and that the notoriously dense Divine Comedy is a kind of coded guidebook to the order’s rituals. Salina and a couple companions set off, with Dante as their guide, on a rollicking, round-the-world adventure. Some of the conjecture seems far-fetched, but the research is impeccable, and the behind-the-scenes Vatican life feels utterly authentic. As engrossing as it is intelligent, this just might be the next big book in the burgeoning religious thriller subgenre.”    –John Green, Booklist, Amazon

Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (2007)

philip-zimbardi-the-lucifer-effect-understanding-how-good-people-turn-evil-2007From Chapter One:
“Lucifer’s sin is what thinkers in the Middle Ages called ‘cupiditas.’ For Dante, the sins that spring from that root are the most extreme ‘sins of the wolf,’ the spiritual condition of having an inner black hole so deep within oneself that no amount of power or money can ever fill it. For those suffering the mortal malady called cupiditas, whatever exists outside of one’s self has worth only as it can be exploited by, or taken into one’s self. In Dante’s Hell those guilty of that sin are in the ninth circle, frozen in the Lake of Ice. Having cared for nothing but self in life, they are encased in icy Self for eternity. By making people focus only on oneself in this way, Satan and his followers turn their eyes away from the harmony of love that unites all living creatures.
The sins of the wolf cause a human being to turn away from grace and to make self his only good–and also his prison. In the ninth circle of the Inferno, the sinners, possessed of the spirit of the insatiable wolf, are frozen in a self-imposed prison where prisoner and guard are fused in an egocentric reality.”    –Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect (2007)

Contributed by Aisha Woodward (Bowdoin, ’08)

The 10th Circle

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The New Yorker, September 24, 2007 (retrieved on January 15, 2008)

Contributed by Ruth Caldwell