Dante in poster for HBO’s series, “Succession” (2019)

Image on wall is a painting entitled “Dante and Virgil” (1850) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.  It appears to be the falsifiers of Inf. 30, Capocchio and Gianni Schicchi, in combat.

Contributed by Kristina Olson 

The original painting, currently held in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France, below.

Stephen Colbert on Trump and heresy

Anderson Cooper: And the punishment for heretics is…?
Stephen Colbert: I think it’s red hot iron coffins in Dante’s Inferno.
(0:25 on)    –CNN, Politics of the Day Video, August 15, 2019

Contributed by Nicolino Applauso

“Wandering from the Straight Path of Clarity,” review of “The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists”

“You may feel, at times, as if you’ve been handed a map, and then told that the map may or may not be accurate, may or may not relate to anything in the real world, may or may not be entirely a fiction, or a random design concocted by some clever trickster to mislead you. That is how the title of a new show at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art — ‘The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists’ — relates to the work on view, by more than 40 artists from 18 African countries.

“The exhibition is shoehorned into spaces not quite big enough for anything to breathe comfortably, filling temporary galleries, stairwells and passage spaces on four floors of the mostly subterranean museum. The current exhibition, curated by Simon Njami, is slightly smaller than the original Dante exhibition he presented in Frankfurt last spring, but it still sprawls, both in its physical layout (the route through its various rooms requires careful navigation) and intellectually.

“Consider one of the best works in the show, a large-scale drawing by Julie Mehretu, in which a finely etched suggestion of architectural facades is overlaid with a storm of delicate lines, smudges and erasures. In the catalogue, published in conjunction with the Frankfurt display, her work is listed as belonging to the ‘Purgatory’ part of the presentation; in Washington, it is in the ‘Inferno’ room. It isn’t the only work to migrate from one celestial realm to another, and those migrations suggest that the basic template borrowed from Dante is not to be taken too seriously.” […]    –Phillip Kennicott, The Washington Post, April 17, 2015

See also our post on the first iteration of Njami’s exhibition, featured at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s museum.

“Circles of Hell… A Dysfunctional Family Tree of British Cinematic Misery”

Film Comment 47.6 (November/December 2011), pp. 40-41

Film Society of Lincoln Center

The 10th Circle of Hell: Bathing Suit Shopping

“With spring break right around the corner and, dare we say it, summer on its way, the day of reckoning is inching dangerously closer.

“We all know the horror, the shame. Our heads are bowed, shoulders sagging, arms hanging limply at our sides as we enter the store. Walls of brightly patterned spandex and neoprene tease us with possibility.  Push-up, bandeau, triangle, bikini, tankini, one-piece, board shirt, options, options, options…The 10th circle of hell.” […]    –Leslie Conway, Better After 50, March 14, 2014

The 9 Circles of Girls’ Clothing Hell

“Before your teenage daughter sighs, rolls her eyes and tells you she’ll only wear Hollister, you will be in charge of making clothing choices.

“Treasure this time of sartorial lack-of-autonomy, because it is fleeting.

“As the parent of a girl, one of the first decisions you’ll get to make is ‘Do I care whether people think my newborn infant is a boy or a girl or a genderless loaf of bread?’ Welcome to…The First Circle of Hell: Infant Implements of Discomfort.” […]    –Josette Plank, Scary Mommy, January 2017

The 9 Circles of Beaumont Hell – and Who You’ll Meet There

“The Italian poet Dante Alighieri was kind of a twisted dude. His 14th-century opus, the Divine Comedy, led readers into the depths of a nine-layer hell filled with flaming tombs, rivers of boiling blood and giant worm-monsters. He spent plenty of time in the Inferno, the first part of the Divine Comedy, outlining all the sins that can get you a one-way ticket to Satan’s inner circle. But by 2014, a lot of those sins feel pretty out-of-date — we stopped burning heretics at the stake a while back, and I’m not even sure that simony is still a thing.

“With Dante’s colorful imagery in mind, I updated and localized his nine circles of hell as a reminder to Southeast Texans that if you’re not going to be polite because it’s the right thing to do, at least be polite to avoid retribution in the afterlife.” […]    –Beth Rankin, Beaumont Enterprise, December 6, 2014

And the Tenth Circle of Dante’s Hell is …

“Hell, Dante tells us, has nine circles, each one reserved for souls guilty of particular sins. The greedy, for example, go to the Third Circle, while heretics are flung down into the Fourth. If you’ve lived a lustful life, full of debauchery and fornication, you will find yourself in the second circle, writhing and naked with millions of other lustful souls who — wait, how exactly is that a punishment?  According to Dante, the worst Circles of Hell are reserved for fraudsters and traitors, suggesting that he’d had an unfortunate disagreement with his publisher over royalties. But the great Italian fell short in his demonic visions, because there is another Circle of Hell: the Tenth. It is a place of infinite suffering and utter despair, echoing with the wailing of the damned. It is a movie theatre called Cinepolis Junior.” […]    –Tom Eaton, Rand Daily Mail, March 14, 2017

Winter Grocery Shopping With Toddlers Is The Tenth Circle Of Hell

“Grocery shopping with toddlers isn’t that much fun to begin with, but throw some -10ºF temperatures into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for hell on earth. Frigid, snowy weather on grocery day is almost enough to convince me we’ll somehow manage to survive on a few cans of button mushrooms and a jar of olives until the next week.

“Besides trying to corral tiny people who have mastered the art of ‘walking’ but not so much the art of ‘walking without careening into every other person/cart/carefully laid out pyramid of soup cans in the store’, the main problem with winter grocery shopping with small children is that it presents a series of obnoxious choices.” […]    –Aimee Ogden, Mommyish, February 23, 2015

Dante’s 10th Circle of Hell Is Yoga Sculpt

“I don’t like horror movies. I think it’s because I don’t find violence or death to be that entertaining. I’m not trying to be holier-than-thou – I just really, really dislike being scared.

“It’s probably because I’m scared all the time, anyway (it’s a byproduct of my anxiety. Basically, any time I’m alone and anything happens, I freak out). So when I see people paying for the privilege of being scared out of their minds, I am incredibly confused, and also start wondering if people would pay for the VR-experience of being Geraldine. I once had a panic attack because of a Boston Terrier. A Boston Terrier. IT’S BASICALLY THE YODA OF THE DOG WORLD AND I WAS SO SCARED I COULDN’T BREATHE. There has to be money in that, right?” […]    –Geraldine DeRuiter, The Everywhereist, January 16, 2016