“The List: The nine circles of Columbus Hell”

Editor at Columbus Alive constructs Columbus, Ohio’s own version of Dante’s Circles of Hell.

“Who needs Dante? Let ‘Alive’ lead you down into the darkness.

“The Hell City Tattoo Fest, which celebrates everything ink-drenched, begins on Friday, April 26, and runs through Sunday, with action centered Downtown at the Hyatt Regency (visit hellcity.com for more information). With that in mind, and in the spirit of Dante’s Inferno, we thought we’d assemble our own, localized Circles of Hell,”   –Andy Downing, Columbus Alive, 2019

Read the full article here.

Inferno at San Francisco’s Gray Area Festival

“I’m in the middle of the dance floor. The strobe lights above me are popping in time with the thundering kick drums and violent synth-bass rolling out of the speakers at 110 beats per minute. I’m shuffling to the rhythms, but I’m only able to control the lower half of my body. All of my movements from the waist up are being dictated by an exoskeleton strapped onto my trunk like a jacket.

“My arms jerk up and down and twist from side to side with the beat, but my own muscles aren’t doing the work; my flesh is being pushed around in space by the 45 pounds of metal, cable, and hydraulic cylinders running across my shoulders and down my arms. A robot is making me dance.” [. . .]

“The dance show, titled Inferno, is meant to be an experiential representation of hell, and I suppose it is, just maybe more fun. Inferno has been touring the world for a couple of years, and it made its US premiere in San Francisco this past weekend at the Gray Area Festival.” [. . .]    –Michael Calore, Wired, July 30, 2019.

Read more about Inferno and the Gray Area Festival on Wired.


Una commedia divina, Arianna Caldarella (lyrics) and Corrado Neri (music), 2015

One of the performances at the 58th annual Zecchino d’Oro (an international children’s music festival), held in Bologna in 2015, was “Una commedia divina,” with music by Corrado Neri, text by Arianna Caldarella. It was performed by Andrea Amelio and Chiara Casolari (pictured below), together with the Piccolo Coro “Mariele Ventre” dell’Antoniano.

Zecchino-d'oro-commedia-divina-SingersThe Zecchino d’Oro website describes the song as follows: “Originale rivisitazione a misura di bambino di uno dei più grandi capolavori della letteratura italiana: la Divina Commedia. L’amore di Dante per Beatrice si carica di un’energia tutta nuova, fresca e vivace, e prende vita sotto forma di un linguaggio semplice e dotato di una punta di ironia, concedendo anche ai più piccoli di addentrarsi nel favoloso mondo del ‘sommo poeta.’ Il brano si propone inoltre di omaggiare in musica Dante Alighieri nell’anno in cui si celebra il 750° anniversario della sua nascita.”

The full text of the song is available on the Zecchino d’Oro website (with videos) and at si24.it.

Mark Lilla, “Filippic” (2011)

A poem for the Brooklyn Book Festival

The F train
Is the brain train.
iPad lasciate,
Voi ch’intrate,

Eve’s backlit apple,
Gold ‘n delicious,
Tempts us not.
We have spines to break,
Penguins to tame.
Thou user!
Thou blue of tooth!
Thou faceless face,
That hath no book!
@ us, towns talk & captions contest
While black-rimmed dandies
Wink at the straphangers
Who grin at the infinite jest.
But banished shalt thou be
Back into space,
No means of return,
No options, commands, or escape,
While we, the Brooklyn d’&eacutelite,
Knuckles bared, planted feet,
Bend dead trees at will
And inspect our kill.
Recycle that, battery boy.
I got your charger right here.

— Mark Lilla, The New York Review of Books, September 16, 2011

Sand Sculptures of Dante’s Inferno


“These particular sand sculptures are actually inspired depictions of the circles of hell, as presented in Dante’s Inferno. The sculptures were created in Italy by a team of 18 of the world’s greatest sand sculpture artists. The result, as you can see in this Flickr stream by user Htmarcos, is simply breathtaking.”    –Jill Harness, Mental Floss, February 24, 2010

See more photos on Flickr and Love These Pics.