“Radio Dante,” from the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Tirana

“I versi di Dante Alighieri, tratti dalle Rime e dalla Vita Nuova, compongono i ventuno episodi del progetto Radio Dante, un podcast sperimentale ideato da Francesca Fini su commissione dell’Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Tirana e RadioMi, per celebrare i settecento anni dalla morte del poeta fiorentino. [. . .] Le voci degli attori si muovono in un paesaggio sonoro ricchissimo di suggestioni e per certi versi spiazzante, sceneggiato da Francesca Fini e sviluppato nello spazio tridimensionale dal sound-designer Boris Riccardo D’Agostino. Un paesaggio sonoro avvolgente, che sembra raccontare un road-movie ambientato nella contemporaneità, trascinando l’universo dantesco nel nostro presente.”   –Radio Dante: “Il Progetto e le Persone

Listen to the Radio Dante podcast streaming on Radiomi from February 15, 2021. You can also listen to the podcast episodes here.

Ismail Kadare’s Twilight of the Eastern Gods

twilight-eastern-gods-ismail-kadare

“[…] “Twilight of the Eastern Gods was published in parts in Albania between 1962 and 1978, translated into French by Jusuf Vrioni in 1981, and only now appears in English, in David Bellos’s translation of Vrioni’s French. In his introduction Bellos assures us of the factuality of Kadare’s account of the Pasternak affair, and says that many of the faculty and students at the Gorky Institute are called by their real names, but reports that Kadare’s wife’s study of his early correspondence has shown that other elements of the book, such as the narrator’s romance with a young Moscovite called Lida Snegina, are entirely fictional.”

[…]

“Here’s the way the narrator describes the Gorky Institute dormitory to Lida: ‘First floor: that’s where the first-year students stay; they’ve not yet committed many literary sins. Second floor: critics, conformist playwrights, whitewashers. Third . . . circle: dogmatics . . . and Russian nationalists. Fourth circle: women, liberals and people disenchanted with socialism. Fifth circle: slanderers and snitches. Sixth circle: denaturalized writers who have abandoned their own language to write in Russian.’  I’m not sure if I’d rank him with Dante, but I intend to keep laying an annual £20 bet on Kadare for as long as he lives.”

–Christian Lorentzen, The New York Times, November 26, 2014