“Westworld” Just Created A New Version Of Dante’s Inferno

“HBO’s series Westworld draws inspiration from any number of different sources. Just this season (season 2), Episode 3 entitled “Virtù e Fortunadrew from the famous early Italian political theorist, Machiavelli, while the following Episode 4 entitled “Riddle of the Sphinx” was heavy with references to the ancient Greek myth of Oedipus, the most recent episode that aired last this past Sunday, “Les Écorchés” seems to be drawing from the famous 14th-century Italian poem by Dante Alighieri, the Inferno.” […]    –Matthew Gabriele, Forbes, June 4, 2018

Tenth Circle (2008), Lifetime movie based on Jodi Picoult’s novel

 

“Set in a small village in Maine, Circle features teen orgies, adultery, boy toys, date rape drugs, self-inflicted maiming and a suicide that might be murder.

“All this plays out against the unsubtle backdrop of high school teacher Laura Stone (Kelly Preston) teaching a course in Dante, whose Divine Comedy never foreshadows anything too pleasant.

“In fact, the title of the best-selling Jodi Picoult novel from which the film was adapted suggests Dante didn’t go far enough for the modern world – that where Dante created only nine circles of eternal purgatory, these days we need a 10th.

“Seems that since Dante outlined Hell in the early 14th century, we’ve somehow stepped up our game and developed another level of wickedness.” […]    –David Hinckley, NY Daily News, June 27, 2008

Go Nagai’s Dante Shinkyoku

dante-shinkyoku-cerbero-nagai-go-infernoDante Shinkyoku is a manga adaptation of Dante’s Inferno by Go Nagai. Nagai is faithful to the text, as he includes snippets of the original poem (in the vernacular). Though he chooses not to include the entire poem word for word, he shortens main ideas for the sake of comic style dialogue and transitions. He also includes an intro introducing the Guelphs and their struggle.” — Contributor Savannah Mikus

The full Dante Shinkyoku series (originally released in 1994-1995) is available to read online here.

Click here for a discussion of Go Nagai’s work in relation to three other Dante-inspired graphic novelists (article in Italian).

Contributed by Savannah Mikus (Florida State University, 2020)

The Returno to the Inferno by Luigi Enrico Pietra D’Oro (2018)

The Returno to the Inferno by Luigi Enrico Pietra D’Oro (Lewis Goldstein) is a book-length epic poem that follows up on Dante’s Inferno with an original, modern discourse (written entirely in rhymed poetry, the same structure Dante used for his original) about what hell is really about in current times—and it’s closer to home than you think. Luigi is now older and less tolerant of the misery and loneliness he sees in our modern, crowded world. And who would be better to help Luigi see the world for what it really is than Robin Williams (or what’s left of him after his own private hell…). The journey of hellish comedy continues with cameo appearances of other laughter-inducing luminaries and even a popular talk-show host whose guest is no other than Satan—who’s not too shabby as a guest, actually. There are great historical figures, as well, who are fittingly housed with the criminally insane, and just rewards for corporate leaders, religious clergy (topped by a lively Pope, for example, who awaits Luigi in Purgatory), politicians and the good old NRA. The journey is portrayed on a large canvas with vivid scenes and clever dialogue, and for a willing reader who cares to suspend disbelief and accept the surreal as real, there’s a richness here that’s unique and memorable. In summary, as with his previous books, the author manages to simultaneously induce bursts of uncontrollable laughter and bouts of unconventional self-reflection. An exceptional book!” — The Editorial Board of the Columbia Review of Books & Film

The book is available on Amazon.

Contributed by Lewis Goldstein

“Encore Dante” (2016 – ), A modern day adaptation of Dante’s Inferno

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“In her youth, the author labored as an au pair for a Parisian family. Like most life-altering experiences, the work was brief but intense. Now, after decades of therapy, the author descends again to the depths of hell to describe for readers what awaits there.”

Anticipated schedule for posting chapters of Encore Dante:

  • Prologue: Posted
  • Chapter 1: Week of February 6, 2017
  • Chapter 2: Week of February 20, 2017
  • Chapter 3: Week of March 6, 2017
  • Chapter 4: Week of March 20, 2017
  • Chapter 5: Week of April 3, 2017
  • Chapter 6: Week of April 17, 2017
  • Chapter 7: Week of May 1, 2017
  • Chapter 8: Week of May 15, 2017
  • Chapter 9: Week of May 29, 2017
  • Chapter 10: Week of June 12, 2017
  • Epilogue: Week of June 26, 2017

Ron Bassilian and Jim Wheelock, Inferno Los Angeles (2015)

INFERNOlosAngelesCOV“Over 700 years ago, the poet Dante Alighieri found his way to the Underworld from the dark wood outside his native Florence, and the adventure he recorded in The Inferno still haunts us to this day.

“Now, in modern times, a new traveler finds his gateway to Hell beneath the urban jungle of the “City of Angels.” Inferno Los Angeles revisits Dante’s journey, weaving new characters and contemporary scenarios with the timelessly familiar scenes Dante described. It is an adventure of pure imagination, fraught with obstacles, monsters, horrific visions and prophecies — all visualized in an epic graphic style. Journey with him, as each step down this human whirlpool brings new dangers and monstrosities, as we delve ever deeper into the torments of our own minds.

INFERNO LOS ANGELES is a 136 page, full color graphic novel published in a deluxe over-sized hardcover edition by NeoClassics Press.”    —Inferno Los Angeles

 

Hunt Emerson, Dante’s Inferno (2012)

Emerson_Inferno_cover“HUNT EMERSON’S INFERNO delights on many levels: as an ingenious translation of classic verse into knockabout farce; as an effortlessly readable introduction to the poem for those too busy or too intimidated to tackle it without a guide; as a delicious crib for anxious Dante students with an essay crisis heaving into view; and as a warm tribute from the master of one art form to the grand master of another. Hunt’s cartoon is followed by Kevin Jack-son’s essay on Dante, which explains how the comic has been developed from the original, points out some of the more complicated jokes, and invites readers to go back to tackle Dante for them-selves.” [ . . . ] —Last Gasp Books, September 6, 2012

To see a live demo of Emerson drawing one of the sketches, click here.

Umberto Eco, Sator arepo eccetera (2006)

Sator-arepo-eccIn 2006, Umberto Eco published a short collection of playful literary experiments, including rewritings of some of the most famous passages of the Divine Comedy. In these rewritings, Eco reverses the meaning of each word, rendering an entirely new meaning to the whole. Here is one example, taken from the first verses of the Comedy:

“Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita,
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.”

Eco’s version:

“Al margin del ristar di vostra morte
mi persi in un deserto illuminato,
ritrovando le piazze più distorte.”

For more examples, see Cinzia Rosati’s review.