Fort Lewis College Theater, “Dante’s Inferno” (2008)

fort-lewis-college-theater-dantes-inferno“Written by Dante Alighieri.
Adapted for Stage by Desiree Henderson & Kurt Lancaster.
Directed by Kathryn Moller.
Winter 2008: Throughout history, poets and philosophers have struggled to define true love. In the Phaedrus, Socrates explains that love is not simply the act of being caught passionately by a beautiful body or face, but by the eternal form of beauty itself. In Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Romeo describes love as, “too rough, too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.” And even today, pop stars, authors and actors struggle to define and relate this elusive emotion in a tangible way. Dante Alighieri embarked on a similar quest. In this contemporary stage adaptation of Dante’s Inferno, Dante journeys into the pits of hell searching for the beauty of love which touched him for only an instant. Each circle of hell reveals tragic, and sometimes violent exchanges between people who are damned to repeat their sins again and again.”    —Fort Lewis Theatre

Contributed by Katherine Avery

Elisabeth Tonnard, “In This Dark Wood” (2008)

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“This book is a modern gothic. It pairs images of people walking alone in nighttime city streets with 90 different English translations I collected of the first lines of Dante’s Inferno. The images, showing a crowd of solitary figures, are selected from the same archive as used for Two of Us (the extraordinary Joseph Selle collection at the Visual Studies Workshop which contains over a million negatives from a company of street photographers working in San Francisco from the 40’s to the 70’s).
The book is set up in a repetitious way, to stress a sense of similarity, endlessness and interchangeability. The images are re-expressions of each other, and so are the texts.”    —Elisabeth Tonnard

Contributed by Guy Raffa (University of Texas – Austin)

Walt McGough, Dante Dies!! And Then Things Get Weird (2008)

walt-mcgough-dante-dies-and-then-things-get-weird-2008“Seven hundred years ago, Dante Alighieri began writing one of the world’s most compelling and imaginative texts. This June, we respectfully screw it all up.

“Sideshow Theatre proudly presents the world premiere of Dante Dies!! (and then things get weird), a new play by Walt McGough oh-so-loosely based on Mr. Alighieri’s Inferno. Partway along the journey of his life, Dante finds himself mourning a lost love, feeling morose and, for some reason, in Hell. Trying to find his way home, he encounters incredible suffering, infernal bureaucracy, some sins of his own, and the aggressive attention of a competitive hot dog eater. Each step downward brings him closer to a personal reckoning with his own story, and maybe a chance to find an answer or two. Enacting the story single-handedly, versatile performer Matt Fletcher brings over fifteen different characters to life as he tracks Dante’s progress through the nine circles of Hell in this unexpected and epic adventure.”  — Sideshow Theatre

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

“Dante’s Inferno” EA Video Game

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“EA introduces an all new original property from the studio behind the hit horror game, Dead Space. The game is based on part one of the medieval epic poem, The Divine Comedy, commonly referred to as Dante’s Inferno, by Dante Alighieri. The dark fiction gave birth to the Tuscan Italian dialect and is widely considered the work that has defined the western world’s contemporary conception of hell and purgatory. The poem tells the tale of Dante who journeys through the twisted, menacing nine circles of hell in pursuit of his beloved Beatrice. Written in the 14th Century, The Divine Comedy, unlike the bible, was published and read aloud in the language of the Italian people, thereby making the poem accessible to the mass public. The poem delivers a striking and allegorical vision of the Christian afterlife and the punishments of hell. In part one, known as Dante’s Inferno, Dante traverses all nine circles of hell; limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery.”    —EA Games

See Also:

Video Interviews and Previews at EA Games
Contributed by Chelsea Mikulencak (UTexas-Austin, ’10)

“EA Sends Players to Hell in Epic Action Game Dante’s Inferno” by El Mundo Tech, December 15, 2008
Contributed by J. Patrick Brown (Bowdoin, ’08)

“Video Game Draws Interest in Hollywood” by David Itzkoff, The New York Times, November 3, 2008

“Endpaper — Fiction Reaches a New Level” by Tim Martin, The Telegraph, May 7, 2009
Contributed by Aisha Woodward (Bowdoin, ’08)

“Fighting Desire in Dante’s Inferno. Try not to succumb to your lustful urges in Hell.” by Jeff Haynes, IGN.com, September 21, 2009
Contributed by Charlie Russell-Schlesinger (Bowdoin, ’08)

“Dante’s Inferno Story Trailer” by Euro Gamer, November 17, 2009
Contributed by Luke Welch (Bowdoin, ’08)

“You Read It in Class; Now You Can Play It on your Console” by Seth Schiesel, The New York Times, February 8, 2010

“Charting Dante’s Descent Through 9 Circles of Hell” by Mark Oppenheimer, The New York Times, March 26, 2010

“Abandon All Poetry, but Enter Hell With an Attitude” by David Itzkoff, The New York Times, January 29, 2010

“Profs Guy Raffa and Arielle Saiber on EA’s ‘Dante’s Inferno’ Videogame” in The Atlantic, February 26, 2010 and “Prof. Arielle Saiber on the Game” in Future Tense, February 17, 2010

“Prof. Teodolinda Barolini on EA’s ‘Dante’s Inferno’ Videogame” in Entertainment Weekly

John Agard and Satoshi Kitamura, “The Young Inferno” (2008)

john-agard-and-satoshi-kitamura-the-young-inferno-2008“A funky and powerful book. Agard takes Dante’s famous poem about a visit to Hell and reworks it to appeal to today’s youngsters, mingling 21st Century street cred with ancient mythology. Kitamura’s stylized black and white illustrations draw the reader effortlessly in.” [. . .]    —Amazon

Contributed by Virginia Jewiss (Humanities Program, Yale University)

Virginia Jewiss, “Il Viaggio di Dante: Un’avventura Infernale” (2008)

il-viaggio-di-dante-un-avventura-infernale-2008A children’s book.
Text: Virginia Jewiss
Illustrations: Aline Cantono di Ceva
Idea: Christiana Castenetto
Italian version found on IBS.

An English version is also available: “Dante’s Journey: An Infernal Adventure.”

“Blasphemy! strikes Madison: Walmartopia creators discuss new disco opera”

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“Religion has always been a central element of American political strife, with the excesses and calumnies of Christian fundamentalism providing a broad and sustained target for satire by believers and nonbelievers alike. Playwrights Catherine Capellaro and Andrew Rohn flout the latest manias and offer up laughs with Blasphemy, their new ‘wicked trio of musical comedies that takes aim at creationists, George W. Bush, Rapture Christians, and intolerance of all stripes.’
Premiering at the Bartell Theatre on January 9, this production is the latest creation by the husband-and-wife team, whose previous musical Walmartopia broke theatrical box office records in Madison before hitting the national stage with an Off Broadway run last year. As they did with their send-up of the smiley-faced corporate behemoth, the pair goes for laughs in Blasphemy by taking on an American institution, in this case the tenets of faith-based politics.
In a nod to Dante’s Divine Comedy, the show is split into three tales, titled ‘Rapture,’ ‘Purgatory,’ and ‘Paradise.’ The anticipation of politicians like George W. Bush and Sarah Palin for the return of Jesus, a disco meditation on death, and a parable about the revelation of evolution to Adam and Eve together comprise a wicked triptych of sacrilege.” [. . .]    –Kristian Knutsen, The Daily Page, December 23, 2008

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

Johnny Depp to Play Protagonist in Nick Tosches’ Novel “In the Hand of Dante” (2002)

johnny-depp-to-play-protagonist-in-the-hand-of-dante-2002“Johnny Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil has acquired screen rights to the Nick Tosches novel ‘In the Hand of Dante.’ The novel will be developed as a potential star vehicle for Depp. . .
Book revolves around Dante’s masterwork “The Divine Comedy,” and tells parallel storylines involving Dante in 14th-century Italy as he tries to complete the work, and a contemporary storyline involving Tosches, who is asked to authenticate what might be Dante’s original manuscript. Depp would play Tosches. The novel was published in 2002.” [. . .]    –Michael Fleming, Variety, December 2, 2008

See Also: MTVnews update on the film’s progress as of July 2011.

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

“Where Sweatshops Are a Dream”

where-sweatshops-are-a-dream“This is a Dante-like vision of hell. It’s a mountain of festering refuse, a half-hour hike across, emitting clouds of smoke from subterranean fires.” [in reference to a large garbage dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia] [. . .]    –Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, January 14, 2008

Image from Dante’s View, Death Valley, California

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