“L’Inferno in scatola: 5 giochi da tavolo a tema dantesco”

lInferno-in-scatola-5-giochi-da-tavolo-a-tema-dantesco-2021“Probabilmente Dante Alighieri non lo avrebbe mai immaginato, ma a 700 anni dalla sua morte (datata 1321) esiste un filone di giochi da tavolo ispirati all’opera immortale del poeta fiorentino.

“È il caso di Dante Alighieri: Comedia – Inferno, che permette ai giocatori di accompagnare Dante e Virgilio tra le perdute genti, attraverso i cerchi dell’Inferno, in un gioco di carte semplice da spiegare e con un regolamento originale di draft a spirale. Collezionare incontri permette di guadagnare punti, ma attenzione a cadere in tentazione: prendere troppe copie uguali della stessa carta impedirà di fare punti. L’idea è del game designer Federico Latini, prodotta dalla casa editrice Sir Chester Cobblepot, italiana con sede a Ravenna, nonostante il nome british. La Comedia – Inferno è un gioco di carte adatto a tutti e bello anche da vedere, perché illustrato con le indimenticabili incisioni di Gustave Doré. Al momento è possibile preordinare una copia qui. Si tratta di una speciale edizione limitata (solo 700 copie e stanno finendo rapidamente), edita da Top Hat Games e disponibile in primavera. In futuro è possibile ci siano altre edizioni, ma per ora questa è l’unica confermata.” [, , ,]    –Luca Francescangeli, Wired.IT, January 12, 2021.

“(Almost) Everything I Know About Hell I Learned From Buffy

“Almost everything I know about hell’s eschatological aspects I learned from watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer — sort of an interactive Divine Comedy. Valley-girl Buffy Summers and her Virgil (embodied by tweedy professor Rupert Giles) battle soulless creatures that slither out of the ‘hell mouth’ (conveniently located under the high school), returning the creatures to blazing torment forever.

“I would feel bad about this pop theological education, except I’m not alone.

“For 700 years, Dante’s epic poem — mainly the Inferno — has been the source of inspiration for preachers, pastors, and not a few theologians, who promoted hell as a physical place with its own address, zip code, and smoking embers. Add to their oratorical brimstone the fiery images from artists — Gustave Doré, Hieronymous Bosch, or Buffy producer Joss Whedon — and you’ve got a potent pedagogy.”   –Rose Marie Berger, Sojourners, 2015

Read the full article here.

Hyperallgeric: “Why is Dante the Florentine still present with us 700 years after his death?”

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“Recognition of the poem’s importance began very early. The first man to write a commentary on The Divine Comedy was Dante’s eldest son, Jacopo. A full exegesis of the work came several decades later. There are 800 early manuscripts of the poem in existence

“It is in some of these that we begin to see the different ways in which artists responded to this often dense and difficult text, with its multiple layers of meaning. First we spot small illustrations of the poem’s principal characters at the beginning of each hand-scribed canto. A little later, scenes from the poem begin to appear in churches, on frescoes by Luca Signorelli in Orvieto Cathedral (c. 1500), for example.

“The most important visual interpreters of the poem were three: Sandro Botticelli, who lived in the 16th century, William Blake, and Gustave Doré, both of whom lived in the 19th: a Florentine (like Dante himself), an Englishman, and a Frenchman.” [. . .]    –Michael Glover, Hyperallergic, February 13, 2021.

 

“The Divine Comedy Like You’ve Never Seen Before”

“Take a peek inside! In a bustling studio in Brooklyn, New York, contemporary artist George Cochrane is immersed in a monumental challenge: to exquisitely letter and illustrate every page of Dante’s Divine Comedy, completely by hand – INCREDIBLE!

“George’s obsession with Dante is apparent through his achievement of painting hundreds of portraits of the poet over the years. But his dream has always been a simple one: to  and more attractive to younger generations.

“George recognized that the best medium to achieve his dream was a combination of the ancient illuminated manuscript and the modern graphic novel.

“This combination will equally delight Dante enthusiasts and first-time readers of the Divine Comedy.”   —Facsimile Finder, 2021

 

COVID-19 and Dante’s Inferno

“Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy is undeniably a timeless classic. Its grand adventure through the nine gates of hell sparks readers with life and interest. It seems like an out-of-place work for a description of our chaotic times, but I believe it is a lot more relatable to us than we might think in the most unlikely of ways. So what can readers take from this classic besides grand allusions to the past?

“Perhaps it is with the old that we can come to better understand the new. Perhaps we can come to a new perspective on the world and its isolated communication due to COVID-19 through this classic. Much like we are now, venturing alone except through the cyberways of technological communication or daily filial visits, Dante with his guide Virgil treaded a path of darkness to the center of hell to understand and experience the dark side of the world. We too traverse a pathway of ‘hell’ not a literal one, of course, but rather a figurative pathway of undiscovered and problematic turmoil for the human condition.”   –Jayden Montalvo, Johns Hopkins Newsletter, 2020

Read the full article here.

Rauschenberg’s Dante in the Time of Pandemic

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“Dante’s three-part epic poem portrays the journey souls take after death. Essentially a socio-economic commentary on Florentine life, with strong moral undertones and focus on the human condition, its themes can be adapted to any time. Today, in the face of Covid-19, the 700-year-old Commedia resonates strongly. Now is a perfect time to reflect on the work through its visual depictions. Although countless artists have illustrated the work since its medieval publication – Sandro Botticelli, Gustave Doré, and John Flaxman, to name a few – modern artists have shown how its relevance lives on to this day. Perhaps the most progressive modern rendering of Dante’s epic to date is seen through the work of artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008).

“Dante is ambiguous in his writing on the Sodomites, reflecting the reticence surrounding the subject of homosexuality in his day. Rauschenberg mirrors this ambiguity in his illustration with an empty speech bubble beneath a red outline of his own traced foot. The tracing inserts Rauschenberg into the narrative just as Dante the Poet occasionally appears in the text, separate from Dante the Pilgrim, a personal touch that is seldom seen in Commedia illustrations.” [. . .]    —Flora Igoe, The Art Story Blog, 2020

See Rauschenberg’s full Inferno series here.

 

Ying Zheng, poetry (2020)


Out of the Ante-Inferno
After Gustave Doré’s Charon, the Ferryman of Hell

Fear not the wrath of God!
Those who are beckoned here
Know better than to comply.

Below the sullen skies,
Where stars hardly survive,
Stand pale precipices

Guarding the dim muzzle
Of a deadly, sodden
Passage, and listening

To it ceaselessly burp,
Bellow, bawl, and belch
Out a whirl of white spume.

Forward! Forward! The oar
That no one can wrench free
From his grip grunts and gasps,

[…]

Read the full poem here, along with two others: “Inferno” and “Dante and Beatrice.”

Ying Zheng was born and grew up in Shanxi, China, where she received her first Master’s degree from Shanxi University, and has since been working for the English Department of Taiyuan Normal University. In 2019, she earned her second Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, England. While in Lancaster, she had the privilege of studying a module on “Visualising the Poem” under Professor Paul Farley. Under the guidance of Dr. Eoghan Walls, her first poetry tutor and mentor, she completed a portfolio of ekphrastic poetry mainly based on visual arts on the subject of Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy. Currently she is pursuing PhD studies at Renmin University of China, Beijing, China. In a recent national creative writing competition held by Sun Yat-Sen University, she won the second prize with her poem “The Heavily Armoured Eyes.”

Evil (S01E07), CBS

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Photo: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

“In the television show Evil (2019, CBS) in Season 1, Episode 7, the main character receives a drawing in a journal given to her daughter by a demon, and the drawing is a sigil ‘from’ the Lesser Key of Solomon. When they research the sigil, they find it represents a demon called ‘Anatas’ who the show explains as a king of demons. While researching, they show multiple plates from the Doré illustrations from Dante’s Inferno. It is worth noting, however, that while the Lesser Key of Solomon is a real document, the symbols from the show are not exactly the same as the ones from the document, and the Lesser Key of Solomon was written after Dante’s time.”   –Contributor Alex Lee

See a recap of the episode on TV Guide‘s website.

Contributed by Robert (Alex) Lee (Florida State University ’21)

“Catholic Sculptor Re-Creating Dante’s Divine Comedy Aims to Shift the Emphasis off Hell”

“In preparation for the 700th anniversary of the death of medieval poet Dante Alighieri, a Canadian artist is creating a sculptural tribute to his Divine Comedy that would be the first sculptural rendition of the entire poem.

‘In our culture Dante is becoming lost,’ said sculptor Timothy Schmalz in an interview with Religion News Service on Monday (July 20).

Not only is Dante less and less required reading, Schmalz said, but his Divine Comedy is often misrepresented by putting the focus only on the first part — the descriptions of hell and its fiery punishments.

[. . .]

There are 100 cantos in the poem, which have previously been represented in etchings and drawings by the likes of Sandro Botticelli, Gustave Doré and William Blake, but Schmalz would be the first to represent the full poem through sculpture.

‘I realized why it hasn’t been done before,’ he said. ‘It’s so much work.'”    –Claire Giangravé, Religion News Service, July 21, 2020

Tedua, Vita Vera Mixtape (2020)

Italian rapper Tedua’s 2020 album Vita Vera Mixtape features a Doré-inspired cover. The track “Mare Mosso” (featuring Bresh, produced by Garelli) opens with a reference the first canto:

“Mi ritrovai in una selva oscura, scura
E non sapevo più nulla, nulla
Perdonerai chi in amore ti trascura, scusa
Ma infondo già lo sai
Restar da solo può fare più paura
Vorrei prendermi del tempo per me
Vorrei metterti nel letto perché
Vorrei chiederti se ancora provi le emozioni
Di quei giorni e come autori
Mi racconti le tue storie o vuoi tenerle per te?”

In an interview in Corriere della Sera, Tedua had this to say about his relationship to Dante: “Il concetto sarà chiaro con l’album, il terzo della mia carriera. Questo è uno spoiler per tenere alta l’attenzione del pubblico. Non sarà però una tesina su Dante: non ho la competenza culturale dei classicisti, sarà il mio racconto.” Il Sommo Poeta sarà la terza incarnazione del rapper, nei panni di DanTedua. “Amo metafore e allegorie: aiutano molto a dare una linea a tutto il progetto.”

[. . .]

“Con Dante affronterò il percorso all’interno della società borghese per analizzarne pregi e difetti, ipocrisie e contraddizioni. L’artista quando diventa famoso entra in contatto con i borghesi ma per non perdersi nella selva oscura e tornare a vedere le stelle deve rimanere se stesso, purezza e verità.”   –Tedua with Andrea Laffranchi, “Tedua, rap vincente: «Musica di strada pensando a Dante»,” Corriere della sera (June 25, 2020)

Contributed by Alex Basili (MA, Florida State University ’22)