“Letter: Riding MetroLink is like a descent into Dante’s Inferno

letter-riding-metrolink-is-like-a-descent-into-dantes-inferno-st-louis-dispatch-2021“Regarding “In aftermath of MetroLink guard’s murder, Bi-State CEO sticking with policing strategy” (Feb. 3): If it wasn’t so tragic and pathetic, one would almost have to laugh at Bi-State Development Agency President and Chief Executive Taulby Roach’s intention to keep MetroLink’s “revamped security system.” What security system? Security guards and contracted employees can’t carry deadly weapons, but the man who allegedly killed that young security guard had a weapon — possibly stolen or illegal. Riding MetroLink is like a descent into “Dante’s Inferno”: shouting, smoking, drug use, fights, robberies, murders. If it’s not safe for the security guards, who is safe? What a shame MetroLink has plunged into Dante’s hell.” [. . .]    — Robert Cohen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 7, 2021.

Criminal Minds, “The Performer,” Season 5, Episode 7 (2009)

The rock star who is linked to all the murders in the episode uses the stage name Dante.

Contributed by Ella Mizera (University of Pittsburg, ’24)

Dario Crapanzano, Il furto della Divina Commedia (2019)

“Milano 1954, Michele Esposito, preside in un liceo di Città Studi, ha una grande passione: i libri antichi, nei quali investe la maggior parte delle sue entrate. Grazie a un’eredità riesce ad acquistare, per ben quattro milioni di lire, l’incunabolo di una Divina Commedia del Quattrocento. Una copia rara e preziosa che il preside presenta solennemente al corpo docente dell’istituto. Quando, uno dei giorni seguenti, il libro sparisce dalla cassaforte della scuola, a indagare viene chiamato Fausto Lorenzi, un ispettore dagli occhi «di ghiaccio».

“Chi poteva conoscere la combinazione della cassaforte? Molti sono i sospettati: i docenti e anche la storica segretaria, che molti definiscono la vera preside. E quando viene scoperto un omicidio, Lorenzi collega subito il delitto al furto.

“Ma il mistero rimane fitto…

“Nella consueta atmosfera vintage della Milano anni Cinquanta, tra cinema fumosi e antiche librerie antiquarie, Dario Crapanzano costruisce un giallo appassionante e crea, dopo Mario Arrigoni, un nuovo personaggio investigatore, che sorprenderà i lettori e che proverà a risolvere lo strano caso del furto della Divina Commedia.”    — Mondadori

Contributed by Ludovica Valentini (Florida State University, MA ’18)

Review: Matthew Pearl’s “The Dante Chamber”

“In The Dante Chamber, Matthew Pearl’s new thriller — a sequel of sorts to his 2003 bestseller The Dante Club — murder takes a literary turn. Sparked by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the crimes are solved by a crack team of poets and painters: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, his sister Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson and the American doctor-poet-essayist Oliver Wendell Holmes (not to be confused with his son and namesake, the great Supreme Court justice).

“The murders take place in London in 1870. In the first murder, a member of Parliament is killed in a London park; a massive stone has inexplicably been tied around his neck and broken it. Soon thereafter an attractive woman dies on a London street; her eyelids have been sewn shut.

“Gabriel Rossetti, who was in the park during the first murder, disappears. His sister and friends fear for his safety, even as the police suspect he was the killer. Gabriel is fond of opiates and given to erratic behavior. When his wife died he impulsively had all his unpublished poems buried with her. Later, to the horror of many, he had them dug up.” […]    –Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post, June 1, 2018

‘Dante’s Inferno isn’t hot enough for you,’ says judge

“STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Earlier this month, Anthony Morales admitted to slaying a neighbor and her son on a Mariners Harbor street two years ago.

“But the stocky 51-year-old defendant didn’t apologize for their deaths at his sentencing on Wednesday. Instead, Morales presented himself as the victim, claiming the decedents had harassed and tormented ceaselessly over the years, had followed him to a home he owned in Pennsylvania and had ‘come looking for’ him on the day they died.

“State Supreme Court Justice Mario F. Mattei listened patiently to Morales’ rambling seven-minute monologue in his St. George courtroom packed with the victims’ distraught relatives. And when Morales finally sat down, the judge didn’t mince words or hide his disdain.” […]    –Frank Donnelly, SiLive, May 30, 2018

Dante and the Ninth Circle Align in a Shocking New “ARROW”

“Turns out Emiko isn’t just working for the Ninth Circle — she’s running it.

“After revealing last week that Emiko has been working with new big bad Dante, Laurel wasted no time bringing that factoid to Oliver’s attention. Then, by the second act or so, Oliver had confirmed it was true. This is one of those plot points they’ve been known to drag out in the past, so nice to see them just get to the meat of that reveal in “Inheritance” and start dealing with the fallout. Oliver is keen to give Emiko the benefit of the doubt, something she uses to her advantage to manipulate him for a while to get the drop on Team Arrow.” […]    –Trent Moore, SyFyWire, March 25, 2019

Why Dante’s Inferno Stays Relevant After 700 Years

“The 14th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri couldn’t have foreseen contemporary forms of hideous, malicious behavior—the Holocaust, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, genocide committed by ISIS.

“Yet, Dante’s nearly 700-year-old, three-part epic poem, the Divine Comedy—of which Inferno is the initial part—remains an influential piece of literature in exploring the origins of evil.

“Dante’s work has influenced or inspired music, novels, films, mobile apps, and even video games. Medieval manuscript illuminators and artists, including Sandro Botticelli and Salvador Dalí, have produced paintings mirroring stories Dante told. Most recently, Dante’s work was adapted for the crime and mystery film Inferno, starring Tom Hanks.

“When you have an actor like Tom Hanks starring in a movie adapted from best-selling novelist Dan Brown, you’re bound to get more questions about Dante than usual,” says Fabian Alfie, a professor in the University of Arizona department of French and Italian.

“But interest in Dante has never waned in the 700 years since he died,” Alfie says. “There is an unbroken tradition of Dante’s influence in Western culture since the 14th century. Dante has never stopped being popular because his poem deals with questions that are always relevant.”

“Ultimately, Alfie says, Dante was attempting to address the “big questions” associated with being: “What is evil? What is human nature? What is redemption, goodness, sanctity?” […]   –Monica Everett-Haynes, University of Arizona, Futurity, November 17, 2016

The Dante Trap by Arnaud Delalande (2011)

“Murder follows murder, each more gruesome than the last, and as Viravolta begins to draw the connections between these deaths, and the torments reserved for sinners in each of Dante’s circles of hell, he finds himself embroiled in a terrible game of cat and mouse. As the streets of Venice fill with masked Carnival-goers, and as Anna and Viravolta are once again thrown together, he is drawn further into the inferno, to the heart of a secret sect and a plot to bring about the downfall of the city.” —Orion Books

Contributed by Alessandra Mazzocchi (Florida State University ’19)

Criminal Minds, “Burn” (S10E02)

Criminal_Minds_season_10_episode_2-Dante-Circles-Hell“There’s been a string of killings, from a drowning, to strangulation, to a hit and run. There seems to be no connection – except all the victims are fathers with sons the same age, and the killings are following the sins laid out in Dante’s Circle of Hell. Apparently, the UnSub has some serious daddy issues.” — CBS

During the episode, the killer hallucinates a voice repeatedly crying to him, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

Matt Hawkins and Darrick Robertson’s Comic “Dante”

“Dante is a new one-shot from writer Matt Hawkins (SYMMETRY, THINK TANK) and Jason Ning and artist Darick Robertson (HAPPY!, Transmetropolitan, TheBoys). It’s a tie-in with came packager Cryptozoic and IP company Strange turn. The story involved an assassin whose trying to go straight but stuff happens.”   –Heidi Macdonald, The Beat: The Blog of Comics Culture, October 18, 2016

“Dante was a family man with a wife and a young daughter—and also a top assassin working for an international crime syndicate. For two decades, he worked hard to keep those two lives separate. Manipulated into thinking he could retire with the syndicate’s blessing, Dante is betrayed. While fighting to save himself, he accidentally kills a young Asian boy—an act which changes him forever. Cursed, and covered with otherworldly tattoos, Dante embarks on a journey to uncover the source of this supernatural affliction, and to save his family.”  [. . .]

Contributed by David Israel