“The Circles of American Financial Hell”

Circles-American-Financial-Hell-Atlantic“As people move up the income ladder, they escape material shortages and consume more. They have ‘things’—goods, houses, and, most importantly, education—to show for their higher earnings, but they do not have healthy finances. Having those ‘things’ is of course an improvement over not having them, but only for the very, very rich (or the very, very unusual) is there any real escape from the pressure-cooker of American household finances.” — Rebecca J. Rosen, “The Circles of American Financial Hell,” The Atlantic (May 5, 2016)

The Tenth Circle: Istanbul Traffic

On this list put together by Canim Istanbul, the author, a local of the city, gives prospective tourists five tips for a good time while in Istanbul. The first tip?

“1. Avoid  the Tenth Circle of Hell, AKA Istanbul’s infamous traffic.

“The city’s traffic is a tempestuous creature that flares whenever and wherever it pleases, blocking streets and bridges for hours and hours on end. There are horror stories of people driving for four hours when they could have reached their destination in 30 minutes. Locals will advise you to avoid taxis, buses, or cars whenever possible and make use of the lovely modes of speedy transportation like the ferry, Metrobus, and the metro.”  [. . .]    —Canim Istanbul, June 5, 2016.

Check out the rest of Canim’s list here for four other handy tips about travelling in Istanbul.

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)

“Atlanta Podcasters Go To Hell With ‘The Divined Comedy’”

“‘The Divined Comedy’ is a podcast which is devoted to talking about Dante Alighieri’s Inferno one canto at a time, taking plenty of detours into pop culture along the way.

“Hosts Paul Cantrell and David Fountain began ‘midway in their life’s journey’ in July and plan on covering the entirety of Alighieri’s fantasy about traveling through the nine levels of Hell before moving on to Purgatorio and finally Paradiso. That’s one hundred cantos in all.

“Billing themselves as ‘The Only Dante Podcast You’ll Ever Need, Ostensibly,’ Cantrell plays the role of a sort of cheerleader for Dante, encouraging Fountain through his first reading of the book.

“‘For a poem that is seven hundred years old,’ Fountain said, ‘you can find a remarkable amount of modern lessons in it, and it withstands a lot of poking and prodding.'” [. . .]    –Myke Johns, WABE, August 17, 2016.

You can listen to The Divined Comedy on Podomatic.

You can check out Dante Today’s post on The Divined Comedy here.

Tenth Circle of Hell—Beer Fruiters

“Yes, I know—Dante only discovered nine circles of Hell. That’s because the heathens at Amoretti had yet to practice their foul dark arts. What, you may ask, is their horrible crime? People have been befouling beer with innocent fruit for quite a while. That is, sadly, most true. And have no fear, the Tenth Circle has plenty of room for the likes of the miscreants at Corona and Blue Moon. Don’t be fooled, though, what Amoretti is doing takes the sin of fruiting the beer to whole new level—they want to industrialize it!

“Somehow—and this is a complaint I’ll certainly address—the keepers of the GABF allowed Amoretti to set up a booth of their vile wares to temp and seduce unwary beer drinkers. Right there—in the middle of the Meet the Brewer section, no less—20 some odd evil poisons threatened—what? Oh—fruit extracts. Did you hear that? Fruit extracts! The horror…” [. . .]    –Jonathan Berohn, Don’t Fruit The Beer, 2016-2018.

You can read the full post here, and you can check out more of Berohn’s writing here.

You can check out Amoretti’s products on their site.

Yves Guérin’s Divine comédie Sculptures

Yves-Guerin-Divine-Comedie-Montpeyroux“L’Enfer, le Purgatoire, le Paradis… Yves Guérin s’est inspiré de l’œuvre de Dante pour créer trois sculptures monumentales, exposées à Montpeyroux. […]

“Pour cela, il a choisi, depuis plusieurs années, de façonner des rails de chemin de fer. «Il faut lui faire cracher quelque chose à la matière.» Et lui faire raconter une histoire. En l’occurrence, celle de la Divine comédie, de Dante. «Un texte qui m’a toujours impressionné et que je réinterprète.»

“L’Enfer a ainsi pris place dans la carrière du village, le Purgatoire sur le promontoire et le Paradis, création haute de 11 mètres, sur l’esplanade. «J’ai vraiment souhaité exploiter ces trois lieux.» Des espaces qui se complètent à merveille. Il suffit d’observer, au pied de la carrière, la sculpture du Purgatoire qui se dresse dans la perspective de l’Enfer. Tout un symbole. «J’ai toujours eu des questionnements sur le devenir de l’humanité, ce qu’il reste des choses», confie l’artiste.” — Marion Chavot, “Le sculpteur expose trois de ses œuvres jusqu’à la fin de l’année,” La Montagne, June 24, 2016

Contributed by Giuseppe Sangirardi (Université de Lorraine)

Brad Hong’s Tenth Circle of Hell

“Brad Hong is a college freshman from Morristown, N.J. His email is bradhong@sas.upenn.edu.”    –Brad Hong, The Daily Pennsylvanian, September 26, 2016.

Hatsune Miku DIVINE-神曲- Xenon-P (2011)

“Ready for some history? How about the Vocaloid clan teaching you the history? These sets of songs come from Dante Alighieri’s most famous writing, The Divine Comedy.” [. . .]    –Demosthenes Alathea on VocaloiDemo, 2016

The tracklist for the album includes:

  1. Introduction –A Seed of Life-
  2. HIMAWARI
  3. Buy Them All
  4. Tatoo
  5. Eat Them All On The Table
  6. Hand To Hand
  7. Incubus
  8. Immortal Soul
  9. Rain of Tears
  10. Survive
  11. Come La Divina Commedia
  12. Birthday

You can purchase the album on Amazon.

Contributed by Savannah Mikus (FSU 2020)

New England Winter Hell

new-england-circles-of-winter-hell-2016This cartoon by Beth Wolfensberger Singer summarizes the struggles of New Englanders during the winter season.

“Beth Wolfensberger Singer is a Boston-based artist. Her comics appear on her blog, ambitionectomy.tumblr.com.” — Singer, Boston Globe, December 16, 2016

Nine Circles of Columbia Hell

Artwork by Charlotte Voelkel/Head Spectrum Illustrator, Columbia Daily Spectator, March 30, 2016