“Ovid describes the Minotaur as ‘part man, part bull,’ half cattle-shaggy, half smooth. Surely this creature deserves a brief campaign bio here: You might remember how, when King Minos’ wife fell hard for a gigantic white bull, their calf-child arrived lactose-intolerant, hungry only for human flesh. (I am not making this up, either.) A subterranean maze gets constructed as Minotaur’s cradle and prison. Dante later defamed the creature’s violence with a walk-on role in the Inferno. And only one century ago, Pablo Picasso — boy-wizard at drawing animals and humans — found the Minotaur allowed both virtuosities concurrently. The horny, weak-eyed he-male beast became his spirit animal.” — Allan Gurganus, “A Minotaur’s in Maintenance in a Tale of Rust Belt America,” Review of The Minotaur Takes His Own Sweet Time by Steven Sherrill, The New York Times, Sept. 30, 2016
“Dino Di Durante’s life’s work, passion, and assistance from a committee of Dante experts helped guide his hand through his contemporary paintings, inspired to educate the world about Dante and his Divine Comedy.
“Boris [Acosta]’s documentary feature film (Inferno by Dante) will screen at Cannes Film Festival in May 2016, and Dino Di Durante’s 72-piece art collection has been published as a book on Amazon [. . .] Each painting comes with a description of the passage at the bottom of each page as well as QR Codes to be scanned to read the actual text for free online while enjoying the art itself. Inferno: The Art Collection as the book is titled, is already translated in 33 languages, with more to come.” — Review: “Dante’s Inferno Gets Repainted” on Thalo: Artist Community
See the related post on Dino Di Durante and Boris Acosta’s Dante’s Inferno Animated here.
In his 2015 book, How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem, writer Rod Dreher explores, from an ex-Catholic perspective, how the Commedia helped him come out of a deep depression.
“Dante helped Dreher understand the mistakes and mistaken beliefs that had torn him down and showed him that he had the power to change his life. Dreher knows firsthand the solace and strength that can be found in Dante’s great work, and distills its wisdom for those who are lost in the dark wood of depression, struggling with failure (or success), wrestling with a crisis of faith, alienated from their families or communities, or otherwise enduring the sense of exile that is the human condition.” —Simon & Schuster
Contributed by Marija Petkovic, Stanford University ’18
“Kiera Knightley in the 2005 film “Pride and Prejudice.” The book by Jane Austen is among the most opened books on Oyster but is finished less than 1 percent of the time.”
“Anyone can publish a book these days, and just about everyone does. But if the supply of writers is increasing at a velocity unknown in literary history, the supply of readers is not. That is making competition for attention rather fierce. One result: ceaseless self-promotion by eager beginners.” […]
“Another commentator quoted the poet Joseph Brodsky, who wrote that ‘in cultural matters, it is not demand that creates supply, it is the other way around. You read Dante because he wrote The Divine Comedy, not because you felt the need for him: you would not have been able to conjure either the man or the poem.’ ” […] –David Streitfeld, The New York Times, January 3, 2014