Marvel Comics, Ka-Zar the Savage #9-12 (1981-1982)


“In 1982, Marvel Comics incorporated Dante Alighieri into their superhero universe in Ka-Zar the Savage Issues #9-12. Apparently, Dante based the Inferno on a pre-historic, Atlantean amusement park, one where cultists killed Beatrice in order to summon inter-dimensional demons. Dante managed to defeat the cultists with his prayers, but they return to power seven centuries later to attempt to summon their demon-lords again. That leaves it up to Ka-zar the Savage to climb down an animatronic Hell to finish what Dante started.”  –Paul Jenizm

(Contributed by Paul Jenizm)

W.H. Auden, “Memorial for the City”

Excerpt from Part II of W.H. Auden‘s “Memorial for the City“:

“The deserts were dangerous, the waters rough, their clothes
Absurd but, changing their Beatrices often,
Sleeping little, they pushed, raised the flag of the Word
Upon lawless spots denied or forgotten
By the fear or the pride of the Glittering City;
Guided by hated parental shades,
They invaded and harrowed the hell of her natural self.”

Auden’s poetry is replete with Dante references. See also “In Memory of Sigmund Freud” and, most famously, “New Year Letter,” discussed here and here. Auden’s collected works can be read in the edition by Edward Mendelson.

Contributed by Quinn Cashion (University of Kansas 2019)

Guy Denning’s Oil Painting Series on the Commedia

Guy Denning is an artist based out of Finistere, France since 2007. Beginning in 2011, he created a three part series of oil paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. The image above is a painting called “ch’io ‘l vidi uomo di sangue e di crucci” from his first series, ‘Inferno‘ (2011).

“In 2011 he presented ‘Inferno’, the first part of his three-part series of oil paintings on Dante’s Commedia in Bologna; this was his first exhibition in Italy and the complete exhibition sold out.
In 2011, he presented the second part of the series in New York City for the exhibition ‘Purgatorio’. Originally drawing inspiration from Dante’s writings, his intention was not to recreate the poem in a visual or literal sense, but instead let the ‘Purgatorio’ series act as a framework for his own personal interpretation of the world following 9/11. As with the writing of Shakespeare, Denning finds a perpetual relevance in Dante’s work where the specifics of name, situation and place are easily adapted to the modern world; as if time moves on but the problems of humanity remain essentially the same. The events of September 11th and the emotional toll it took on the US identity was a critical element to this body of work. Poignantly enough, this exhibition was held in a ‘pop-up’ location just blocks from Ground Zero and on the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.” [. . .]    —Widewalls Magazine, 2017

On exhibition set- “Inferno”

“This was the first part of my paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Inferno was exhibited at my first solo exhibition in Italy at MAGI’900 Museo, Bologna.”     –Guy Denning, on his site, January 19, 2017

On exhibition set- “Purgatorio”

“This was the second part of my paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Purgatorio was exhibited in Manhattan at a pop-up gallery space by Brooklynite Gallery on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.”    –Guy Denning, on his site, January 30, 2017.

The image above to the right is a painting called “the cardinal virtue of media temperance” from the ‘Purgatorio‘ exhibition.

On exhibition set- “Paradiso”

“This was the third part of my paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Paradiso was exhibited at Signal Gallery in London.”    –Guy Denning, on his site, January 27, 2017.

The image below is a painting called “Looking for Beatrice” from the ‘Paradiso‘ exhibiton.

To view Denning’s full list of exhibitions, check out his website here

Louise Glück, “From a Journal” (2001)

The-Seven-Ages-Louise-Gluck“From a Journal”

I had a lover once,
I had a lover twice,
easily three times I loved.
And in between
my heart reconstructed itself perfectly
like a worm.
And my dreams also reconstructed themselves.

After a time, I realized I was living
a completely idiotic life.
Idiotic, wasted—
And sometime later, you and I
began to correspond, inventing
an entirely new form.

Deep intimacy over great distance!
Keats to Fanny Brawne, Dante to Beatrice—

[. . .]

“From a Journal” is from Louise Glück’s 2001 collection The Seven Ages. It was published by HarperCollins.

Contributed by Jessica Beasley (Florida State University, 2018)

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)

Marco Santagata, Come donna innamorata (2015)

Dante-Santagata-2015-come-donna-innamorataMarco Santagata’s 2015 novel Come donna innamorata — based on Dante’s biography, on which Santagata has also published — was a finalist for the Premio Strega. See the publisher’s description below:

“Come si può continuare a scrivere quando la morte ti ha sottratto la tua Musa? È questo l’interrogativo che, l’8 giugno 1290, tormenta Dante Alighieri, giovane poeta ancora alla ricerca di una sua voce, davanti alle spoglie di Beatrice Portinari. Da quel momento tutto cambierà: la sua vita come la sua poesia. Percorrendo le strade di Firenze, Dante rievoca le vicissitudini di un amore segnato dal destino, il primo incontro e l’ultimo sguardo, la malìa di una passione in virtù della quale ha avuto ispirazione e fama. È sgomento, il giovane poeta; e smarrito. Ma la sorte gli riserva altri strali. Mentre le trame della politica fiorentina minacciano dapprima i suoi affetti – dal rapporto con la moglie Gemma all’amicizia fraterna con Guido Cavalcanti –e poi la sua stessa vita, Dante Alighieri fa i conti con le tentazioni del potere e la ferita del tradimento, con l’aspirazione al successo e la paura di non riuscire a comporre il suo capolavoro…È un Dante intimo, rivelato anche nella sua fragilità, e nelle sue ambiguità, quello che Marco Santagata mette in scena in un romanzo che restituisce le atmosfere, le parole, le inquietudini di un Medioevo vivido e vicino. Il sommo poeta in tutta la sua umanità: lacerato dall’amore, tormentato dall’ambizione, ardentemente contemporaneo.” — Guanda

See Giuseppe Fantasia’s review in the Italian edition of Huffington Post here.

Hannibal TV series, “Antipasto” (S03E01)

Hannibal-Antipasto-Dante-Vita-Nuova-TumblrIn the first episode of the third season of the TV series Hannibal (2015), “Dr. Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) recites a sonnet by Dante Alighieri, the first poem of Vita Nova, a collection of compositions published in 1295.

A ciascun’alma presa e gentil core is the description of a dream Dante had after meeting his beloved Beatrice for the second time. In the dream, the poet sees Amore (personification of love) holding Beatrice, asleep and wrapped in a cloth, in his arms. Amore holds the poet’s heart in one hand; after waking the woman up, he feeds her with the heart, which she doubtfully eats. After this, joy turns into pain and the poet sees Amore crying, disappearing in the sky with Beatrice in his arms.

“The poet Guido Cavalcanti interpreted Dante’s dream by writing the sonnet  Vedeste, al mio parere, onne valore.

“The reference to the symbolical act of cannibalism in the poem sounds ironic in Hannibal’s mouth.” — Cinematic Literature on tumblr, August 31, 2015

See also the animated GIFs posted by fringeofmadness on tumblr.

Hannibal-Antipasto-Dante-Vita-Nuova-Tumblr-GIF

 

Weezer, “L.A. Girlz” (2016)

Weezer-LA-Girlz-Dante-Beatrice-2016“L.A. girls, please act your age
You treat me like I have the plague
It’s the Gyre and Gimble in the wabe
L.A. girls, please act your age
Sweeten up your lemonade
And meet me down at tower twenty-eight
So would you mind if I was pregnant?
I’ll sleep on the edge of your bed
Like Dante and Beatrice
We’ll light up our candles
But how is this going to end?
The kids are asleep
We’re haunting their dreams
And some women swear it’s more painful than labor
To die with your sins on your head” — Weezer, “L.A. Girlz,” The White Album (2016)

Watch the video for the song on YouTube.

Contributed by Megan Alvarado (University of Texas at Austin, ’18)

Jack Gilbert, “Dante Dancing”

Excerpt from Jack Gilbert‘s poem, “Dante Dancing”:

I

When he dances of meeting Beatrice that first time,
he is a youth, his body has no real language,
and his heart understands nothing of what has
started. Love like a summer rain after drought,
like the thin cry of a read-tailed hawk, like an angel
sinking its teeth into our throat. He has only
beginner steps to tell of the sheen inside him.
The boy Dante sees her first with the absolute love
possible only when we are ignorant of each other.
Arm across his face, he runs off. Years go by.

Read the entire poem here.

See also Sarah Manguso’s profile of Jack Gilbert on the Poetry Foundation site.

Contributed by Irene Hsu, Stanford University ’17

Cardinal Studios, Demons

Stanford University’s student run production company, Cardinal Studios, is releasing a short film, Demons, in February 2016.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.13.54 PMSynopsis: “Beatrice is forced to face her past and the judgement of Minos on the night she finds Dante.”

Read more at Cardinal Studios’ Facebook or Tumblr pages.

Contributed by Sonia Gonzalez, Stanford University ’18