Field of Dogs (2014)

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“Polish poet and filmmaker Lech Majewski is hard-pressed to follow The Mill and the Cross, his stirring 2011 recreation of Pieter Bruegel’s painting The Way to Calvary set in occupied Flanders of the 16th century, with an equally spell-binding subject. In Field of Dogs he exchanges the previous film’s broad historical and theological canvas for a less compelling tale of intimate personal suffering in the aftermath of a car accident. But admirers of erudite films will be comforted to find that Dante’s Divine Comedy provides the guiding thread through a gossamer narrative, one that fights a steep uphill battle to interest the viewer in the protagonist’s pain and redemption.”    –Deborah Young, “Field of Dogs: Filmart Review,” The Hollywood Reporter, March 27, 2014

The Rogue Theatre’s Dante’s Purgatorio (2014)

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“Baliani has adapted Purgatorio, the second part of Dante’s Divine Comedy for the stage.” […]

“See this Rogue production, directed by Joseph McGrath, and you’d wonder why it hasn’t been done before (we could not find references to any other stage adaptations). It was completely engrossing.”   –Kathy Allen, “Review: The Rogue’s ‘Dante’s Purgatorio‘: Sins and shades shape an engrossing climb,” Arizona Daily Star, May 01, 2014

See also Sherrilyn Forrester’s review in Tucson Weekly, May 01, 2014.

Raffaella Silvestri, “A Ray of Literary Hope on Italian TV”

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“Some 10 percent of Italian households did not own a single book. According to the 2013 Survey of Adult Skills by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, nearly 70 percent of the country of Dante and di Lampedusa is unable to ‘understand and respond appropriately to dense or lengthy texts.'”

Raffaella Silvestri, “A Ray of Literary Hope on Italian TV,” The New York Times, April 21, 2014

Zachary Woolfe, “A Circle of Composers, Intimate and Epic”

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“There is an operatic quality coursing through the work of the Second Empire sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-75), the subject of a powerful exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, through May 26, that inspired a concert of French vocal music at the museum on Saturday evening.

“Look at Carpeaux’s best-known masterpiece, the wrenching ‘Ugolino and his Sons’ based on Dante: Here are both epic scope and intimate detail (those clenched feet!), the combination that 19th-century opera specialized in. It’s no surprise, given the adroitness of his balance between exuberance and restraint, that he was asked to design a relief for the exterior of Charles Garnier’s opera house in Paris. The result, a swirling mass of figures called ‘La Danse,’ fairly explodes off the facade.”    –Zachary Woolfe, “A Circle of Composers, Intimate and Epic,” The New York Times, April 29, 2014

Dante Street in Paris

 

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Contributed by Dien Ho

Rod Dreher, “The Ultimate Self-Help Book”


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“Everybody knows that The Divine Comedy is one of the greatest literary works of all time. What everybody does not know is that it is also the most astonishing self-help book ever written. [ . . . ]

“The practical applications of Dante’s wisdom cannot be separated from the pleasure of reading his verse, and this accounts for much of the life-changing power of the Comedy. For Dante, beauty provides signposts on the seeker’s road to truth. The wandering Florentine’s experiences with beauty, especially that of the angelic Beatrice, taught him that our loves lead us to heaven or to hell, depending on whether we are able to satisfy them within the divine order.

“This is why The Divine Comedy is an icon, not an idol: Its beauty belongs to heaven. But it may also be taken into the hearts and minds of those woebegone wayfarers who read it as a guidebook and hold it high as a lantern, sent across the centuries from one lost soul to another, illuminating the way out of the dark wood that, sooner or later, ensnares us all.”

Rod Dreher, “The Ultimate Self-Help Book: Dante’s Divine Comedy“, Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2014

Contributed by Allen Wong (Bowdoin ’14)

 

Peter Mountford, The Dismal Science (2014)

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“The mountain of Purgatory haunts the cover of Peter Mountford’s arresting second novel, The Dismal Science. The image, which calls to mind the second volume of The Divine Comedy, leads the reader into the book, the stark path curling its way up toward Terrestrial Paradise, symbolized by one lonely but verdant tree.

“Purgatory is the underlying structural metaphor of the novel; across its sweep, Vincenzo D’Orsi, the main character, will ascend the mountain as he tries to make sense of, and finally purge, the wreckage of his life.”    –Martha McPhee, “The Dismal Science, by Peter Mountford,” The New York Times, April 11, 2014

“Divine Triptych” Digital Art

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“The Divine Comedy is an exploration of the relationship between literature, 3D, stereoscopy and hand-drawn illustration. Inspired by Dante Alighieri’s and Gustave Dore’s classic works, technical artist William Dube and I recreate Dante’s epic quest through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. The work was made in Maya and  Mudbox.”    —Behance

Rachelle Meyer, The Divine Comedy (2014)

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“Every Litograph design emerges from the text of a book. [. . .] This 24 x 36 inch print includes the full text of Inferno from the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow translation of The Divine Comedy. The 18 x 24 inch print includes approximately the first three quarters of Inferno.”    —Litographs

Buzzfeed’s 23 Circles of Hell That Should Exist for the Modern Age

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Buzzfeed has created a list of the “23 Circles of Hell That Should Exist for the Modern Age.” After Dante’s first nine circles, Adam Ellis has come up with thirteen more from the tenth circle (people who talk at the theater) to the twenty-third (Justin Bieber’s tattoo artist). See the complete list on Buzzfeed.

Contributed by Humberto González Chávez