Among German sculptor Fritz Koenig’s oeuvre one finds a number of works that take inspiration from Dante, particularly mediated through Rodin’s sculpture groups in his Gates of Hell. Below, “Paolo und Francesca” from 1958.
Koenig’s work was celebrated with a retrospective at the Gallerie degli Uffizi in 2018.
Contributed by Jessica Beasley (Florida State University, 2018)
“Would you like to read something while I’m getting lunch ready? Rufu says: Si, volontieri. The only book in Italian that Richard owns is Dante’s Divine Comedy. For years he’d been planning to read it in the original, but at some point the plan slipped his mind. For years, the Italian dictionary has stood beside it on his shelf. Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita/mi ritrovai per una selva oscura/ché la diritta via era smarrita. He can still recite the opening lines in Italian from memory. Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself in a dark wood, the right road lost. Maybe not such a bad choice after all, he thinks, and hands the refugee — who’s gone a half a world astray — the burgundy-linen bound first volume.” — Jenny Erpenbeck, Go, Went, Gone (2015). Trans. from the German by Susan Bernofsky (New Directions, 2017).
See Adam Kirsch’s review of the novel, a fiction about the impact of the refugee crisis on European and global politics, here.
Contributed by Pete Maiers
“The Hipsters in Hell storyline is the perfect way to end the series. Leo dies, and a distraught Nike charges through the gates of Hell to find him. What they discover is patterned after Dante’s Inferno, only specialized for hipsters. There are punishments for wearing vintage tees that were bought new and at full price — then lying that they were picked up at a thrift shop. Women who got those mustache tattoos on their fingers get tossed in a mud pit with the men for having ironic mustaches.” –Larry Cruz, “I was into Hipsters before it got a book,” Comic Book Resources, May 21, 2014
“This new edition of Dante’s great work brings together for the first time the three volumes of the Hollander translation with the art of internationally recognized illustrator Monika Beisner. Beisner has created 100 detailed paintings for this publication, making her the first woman credited with illustrating the entire work. The set begins with an introduction by Carlo Carena and a foreword by Academy Award winning actor Roberto Benigni, known for his lectures and dramatic recitations of Dante’s poem. The third volume ends with an appreciation by writer and cultural historian Marina Warner entitled ‘Monika Beisner: Illuminating Stories.’ Warner writes, ‘The hundred miniatures took her seven years to complete and the achievement is dazzling. The present volume reproduces her work full-size, … with no strokes or drawing visible, but a pure glow of dense color, applied with brushes so small they consist of a half-dozen sable hairs.… Monika Beisner has been scrupulously loyal to Dante’s text, rendering gesture and position as described in the poem as well as its unsurpassed precision of spatial, geographical and temporal coordinates.’ ” [. . .] —Oak Knoll Press