Lele Mora and the Ruby Sex Case

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Today (28 June 2013) Lele Mora, involved in the famous Ruby-sex-case as Berlusconi’s personal “talent scout”, delivered a speech in front of his judges stating that he wants to break free from the hellish (lustful!) hurricane to see the stars: “Voglio uscire da questa bufera infernale che mi ha tolto la luce voglio vedere le stelle e il cielo azzurro.”

Found at: La Repubblica Milano

See Also: “Ruby bis: Lele Mora in aula. L’udienza del talent scout dopo quella di Nicole Minetti e Emilio Fede (Diretta),” L’Huffington Post, June 18, 2013

“Madoff Is Sentenced to 150 Years for Ponzi Scheme”

if-bernie-met-dante“. . .Yes, Bernard L. Madoff went to jail on Thursday after pleading guilty to a gargantuan Ponzi scheme, and yes, he may face the rest of his life in prison when he is sentenced to as much as 150 years on June 16. But if even that dose of clinical justice seems like paltry penance to his many bilked and ruined investors, including charities, they can always turn to literature for a further measure of satisfaction–and to pronounce, perhaps, another kind of final judgment.
Mr. Madoff was 700 years too late to join Dante’s Who’s Who of sinners, but it is easy to imagine where the poet would consign this scam artist, who admitted to stealing as much as $65 billion: to the Pit, the Ninth (and deepest) Circle of Hell. It is where sins of betrayal are punished in a sea of ice fanned frigid by the six batlike wings of the immense, three-faced, fanged and weeping Lucifer. . .
It is fitting, Mr. Pinsky says. Betrayal destroys the trust that binds humanity, and with it, the betrayer himself. Dante was consumed by the sadness and mystery of sin–and what it did to the sinner.” [. . .]    –Ralph Blumenthal, The New York Times, March 14, 2009

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“. . . Burt Ross, who lost $5 million in the fraud, cited Dante’s The Divine Comedy, in which the poet defined fraud as ‘the worst of sin’ and expressed the hope that, when Mr. Madoff dies — ‘virtually unmourned’ — he would find himself in the lowest circle of hell.” [. . .]    –Diana B. Henriques, The New York Times, June 29, 2009

See also a similar CBS article here.

David Hewson, “Dante’s Numbers” (2009)

david-hewson-dantes-numbers-2009“In the gorgeous grounds of Rome’s Villa Borghese park the glitterati of the movie world are gathered for a world premiere. A legendary Italian movie director has come out of retirement to create a blockbuster based on Dante’s Inferno. But, as Nic Costa and his colleagues attempt to guard the precious collection of historic artefacts attached to the event, the premiere is disrupted by tragedy and a horrific murder.” [. . .]    —David Hewson

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

Kathryn Harrison, While They Slept: An Inquiry into the Murder of a Family (2008)

kathyrn-harrison-while-they-slept-an-inquiry-into-the-murder-of-a-family-2008“In the Inferno of Dante, Count Ugolino, forced to cannibalize his children’s corpses, is led to narrate the horror by Dante’s offer to retell the story up in the world above. Genesis 19 not only tells the story of incest between Lot and his daughters, but proceeds to name their offspring: Moab and Ben-ammi, and the Moabites and Ammonites descended from them. Abel’s blood ‘cries out’ with its story, and the fratricide Cain is marked.” [. . .]    –Robert Pinsky, New York Times, June 8, 2008

“Mafia boss reads Dante Alighieri in prison”

mafia-boss-reads-dante-alighieri-in-prison“Bernardo Provenzano, the former Godfather of the Sicilian Mafia who is serving life in prison, is spending his time reading Dante and writing to a pen pal. . . ‘I have read the Inferno,’ he wrote. ‘And especially where it says that on life’s journey, I found myself in dark woods, the right road lost.’ The former boss of all the bosses–who ordered the assassination of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, a pair of anti-Mafia investigators–told Bonavota that ‘when reason and force collide, force wins and reason is lacking.'” [. . .]    –Malcolm Moore, The Telegraph, January 28, 2008

Contributed by Aisha Woodward (Bowdoin, ’08)

“The Close Reader: Let the Punishment Fit the Crime”

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“If sheer cultural influence is the measure of greatness, though, Dante Alighieri should probably rank higher than Shakespeare, since Dante dreamed up something that, sadly, has had even more impact than depth psychology. He invented the infernal. Dante’s ‘Inferno’ gave us our first glimpse of a universe we once again inhabit: a topography of graphic, gruesome suffering. The Dante scholar John Freccero might have been talking about Kosovo or Rwanda or any other post-genocidal landscape when he wrote, ‘The ruined portals and fallen bridges of Hell are emblems of the failure of all bonds among the souls who might once have been members of the human community.'” [. . .]    –Judith Shulevitz, The New York Times, March 9, 2003

“Rome Journal; An Inferno of Vehicles Expands a City’s Circle of Suffering”

rome-journal-an-inferno-of-vehicles-expands-a-citys-circle-of-suffering“On a remarkably pleasant night in early August, Patrizia Dolcini, a 44-year-old hotel worker, was jolted from her sleep by a series of violent explosions just outside her first-floor bedroom window in one of Rome’s most upscale areas.
Ms. Dolcini ran outside, where others were gathering, as a frightening scene unfolded: more than a dozen parked motor scooters had burst into flames, transforming an entire intersection into an inferno. The blaze engulfed a nearby tree and leapt five stories in the air. Black smoke billowed above this city’s fairy-tale skyline. From a few blocks away, there came another explosion. Then, from a different direction, another.” [. . .]    –Brian Wingfeld, The New York Times, September 5, 2005

“Hannibal” (Ridley Scott, 2001)

hannibal-ridley-scott-2001Hannibal is set in Florence where the notorius Hannibal Lecter is posing as a medievalist and Dante scholar. He lectures on the Divine Comedy and recites poetry from the Vita nuova, as well as attends an operatic adaptation of the Vita nuova. Apart from these explicit references to Dante, there is also a sense in which the homicidal methods he employs mirror, contrapasso like, the sins of his victims, all of whom are in some sense bad. The noble folk, Starling and a nurse, are spared, despite HL’s ample oppourtunities to kill them. It is difficult to equate any of the movie’s characters with those of the Divine Comedy, although Lector does in a sense play Virgil to Starling’s pilgrim; but in his role as avenger of evil, serial killer, HL appears more like the wrathful Old Testament God.”    –Peter Schwindt

For a compilation of references to Dante in the film, see the post on the website greatdante.net.

Contributed by Peter Schwindt