2014 Winter Olympics Bid: Sochi vs. 9th Circle

Sochi-Ninth-Circle

Somewhat Topical Ecards, February 7, 2014

 

Prue Shaw, “Why Dante Is Relevant Today” (2014)

prue-shaw

“How can a poet who wrote 700 years ago in medieval Italy possibly be relevant to today’s world? [ . . . ] Italy’s great medieval poet is the equal of England’s great Renaissance playwright in the power of his imagination and the expressive force of his language. His capacity to harness both has created a poetic work whose relevance is universal and timeless. The Comedy is as relevant today as it ever was.”    –Prue Shaw, Huffington Post, February 18, 2014

“Failure Pile in a Sadness Bowl”: Dante as Inspiration for Creative Writers

FailurePile“If you ever feel bad about your own writing, just remember that one of the world’s most well-known works of classic literature is self-insert fanfiction where the author hangs out with his favorite poet and is guided on his journey of discovery by a Manic Pixie Dream Girl version of a woman he met twice.”    —“Failure pile in a sadness bowl,” Mister-Smalls, Tumblr, February 2014

Contributed By Victoria Rea-Wilson (Bowdoin, ’14)

Dante for fun, Illustrated Children’s Books

illustration-dante-for-fun-book

“When we got to the gift-shop, we discovered an improbable set of children’s picture books that retell Dante for young people: it’s called Dante for fun and it comes in three volumes (naturally): Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise.”    –Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing, February 18, 2014

Contributed by Gabrielle E. Orsi, Ph.D.

Fashionable Dante

Sancro_inferno_uomo“Lettering originale disegnato a mano dei gironi danteschi, stampato su morbidissimo cotone organico.”    –-SanCrò Firenze

Edmund White, Inside a Pearl (2014)

inside-a-pearl-edmund-white-2014Jay Parini describes Marie-Claude de Brunhoff, a main character in Edmund White’s memoir Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris, as “a kind of fragile Virgil to White’s dewy-eyed Dante, leading him with gusto into the labyrinth of Parisian life.”    –Jay Parini, The New York Times, February 7, 2014

Alexander McQueen’s “Dante” Collection, 1996

alexander-mcqueen-dante-collection-1996“McQueen’s theatrical ‘Dante’ collection was staged at a church in Spitalfields in 1996. The show opened with organ music filling the church that was soon drowned out by gunfire. Models walked the runway looking wearing wore crucifix masks, denim splashed with bleach and lots of lace. McQueen commented that the collection was ‘not so much about death, but the awareness that it’s there’.”    —The Concept of Fashion, December 20, 2011

Some of the pieces from this 1996 collection have been included in the “Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!” (2014) exhibition in London. To learn more about the London show, see “In London, Fashion History Up Close.”

Our Young-Adult Dystopia

city-of-dis“I sometimes wonder what Dante or Milton or any of those guys would make of the modern appetite for the young-adult epic. It wasn’t always a lucrative thing, writing grand, sweeping, fantastical stories, you know. It was a job for nose-to-the-grindstone, writing-for-the-ages types, and worldly rewards were low. Milton died in penury, blind and obscure; Dante met his maker in literal exile. Would they look with envy upon their celebrated and moneyed modern analogues– your J. K. Rowlings, your Suzanne Collinses?”    –Michelle Dean, “Our Young-Adult Dystopia,” New York Times Magazine, January 31, 2014

Dante in a Genealogy of Literature

mendelsohn“This is the essentially genealogical model of influence taught in college literature courses: Homer begat Virgil, Virgil begat Dante, and so on.”    –Daniel Mendelsohn, “Which Authors of Books Have Worked on You as ‘Negative Influences’?” New York Times, January 21, 2014

Dante’s Inferno: The Ballet (2014)

dantes-inferno-the-ballet“This new ballet traces Dante Alighieri’s journey through the nine levels of Hell in a chilling and beautiful tour-de-force of music, dance, striking masks, costumes, and choreography. With original music, masks, and sets created by Glenna Burmer, and music conducted by Grammy-award winner David Sabee and recorded at Studio X, this ballet is filled with exciting music, demonic dancing and wild choreography by the master Ronald Tice and Jennifer Porter.”    —Dante’s Inferno: The Ballet

Performances held February 21, 22, 23, 2014 at The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center (Bellevue, Washington).

Contributed By Gabrielle E. Orsi