Marvel Comics, Ka-Zar the Savage #9-12 (1981-1982)


“In 1982, Marvel Comics incorporated Dante Alighieri into their superhero universe in Ka-Zar the Savage Issues #9-12. Apparently, Dante based the Inferno on a pre-historic, Atlantean amusement park, one where cultists killed Beatrice in order to summon inter-dimensional demons. Dante managed to defeat the cultists with his prayers, but they return to power seven centuries later to attempt to summon their demon-lords again. That leaves it up to Ka-zar the Savage to climb down an animatronic Hell to finish what Dante started.”  –Paul Jenizm

(Contributed by Paul Jenizm)

Jayson Greene, Once More We Saw Stars (2019)

Once-More-We-Saw-Stars-2019Once More We Saw Stars (Knopf, 2019) is a memoir by Jayson Greene, about the tragic loss of his 2-year-old daughter Greta and his path through grief to healing.

A review in the Washington Post notes, “The book’s title, from Dante’s Inferno, tips us off that Greta’s bereft parents will, in the poet’s words, ‘get back up to the shining world.’ But Once More We Saw Stars, an outgrowth of a journal Greene began shortly after the accident, is a chronological account, which means there’s unthinkable pain before the arduous ‘path toward healing.’

“Like Virgil, Greene makes for a good guide on this journey to hell and back. He’s a Brooklyn-based journalist and editor who met his wife, Stacy, a cellist by training, at the classical-music nonprofit where they both worked. After Greta’s birth, Stacy switched tracks to become a lactation consultant and nutritionist. Their story is not just of loss, but of their remarkable love, which helps them through this tragedy.” [. . .] — Review by Heller McAlpin in the Washington Post (May 8, 2019)

Kateřina Machytková, paintings (2016)


Paradiso 28.
See Kateřina Machytková’s website for her illustrations of the Commedia.

The 9 Circles of Nursing School Hell

“Nursing school can be.. well, hell.  Senior year is particularly horrific.  From applying for jobs, to completing your last clinicals, to finals week, to scheduling NCLEX prep, applying for your ATT, creating your resume and cover letters, preparing for interviews, scheduling and preparing for the NCLEX, sitting for boards, and actually graduating.. it can be it’s own special form of hell.  Nine circles to be exact.

“You ever read Dante’s Inferno in high school?  . . . well, here is our version of Dante’s Inferno . . . nursing school style.” [. . .]    –Kati Kleber, NRSNG, 2016.

Read Kleber’s list of nursing school hell here on NRSNG.

The Nine Circles of Menswear Hell

“Sup, you fuckin’ mortals? When life finally logs you out due to inactivity, you’ll either be whisked away to #Menswear Heaven on the smelted down, crepe sole wings of angels or flung headlong through the infernal keyhole to #Menswear Hell. #Menswear Hell abides by it’s own rules: no gods, no masters. The #menswear legacy you left behind on earf determines what special punishment you’re subjected to for all of time. Doesn’t that sound like the brie’s cheese? If you haven’t yet read Dante’s Inferno—as I’m sure all you Kindle-having pariahs have meant to—spoilers abound.” [. . .]     –Rick Morrison, Complex, January 16, 2014.

Read Morrison’s full list of the circles of Menswear Hell here.

The Geological Features That Inspired Hell In Dante’s Divine Comedy

forbes-2016-geology-of-dante

“For a long time, the inner earth was a mysterious place – supposedly the reign of demons, home to ancient gods (like Pluto) and place of eternal damnation. Italian poet Dante Alighieri imagined an especially elaborate version of Hell in his Divine Comedy. He included in his description the nine circles of Hell, with Lucifer residing in the lowest, real landscapes and geological features. According to author Marco Romano, in the description of Dante’s Inferno we find earthquakes, rivers, mountains, landslides, a desert of scorching sand and even some types of rocks (like the famous marble of Carrara).

“Dante imagined Hell like an inverted cone, with its circles gradually becoming smaller nearer to Earth’s core. Each circle was dedicated to a sin and the sin’s related punishment. This image is based on calculations of Greek philosophers, like Eratosthenes of Cyrene or Claudius Ptolemy, who argued that Earth is a sphere. Hell, as part of earth, would have to be cone-shaped. Dante even gives an exact value of Earth’s radius of 3,250 miles (it’s actually 3,959 miles).” — David Bressan, Forbes, July 16, 2016

Read the full article here.

“Dante’s Cosmic Inferno

“In Dante’s Inferno – the first part of The Divine Comedy – the poet describes Hell as a series of nine concentric circles, each representing an order of wickedness greater than the one that preceded it until finally arriving at the center of the Earth, where Satan is imprisoned. One might imagine his depiction of Hell as something like an infernal, subterranean solar system with locked Hellish loops acting as parallel universes of sin under the relentless pressure of poetic justice revolving around the embodiment of evil. As one might expect, the Inferno is filled with images of fire – the classical elemental symbol long associated with divine wrath and punishment – with unsettling and supernatural, near-animistic qualities. In Canto XII, for example, those who’ve committed acts of violence are condemned to eternal immersion in the river Phlegethon, described by Dante as consisting of boiling blood, but originally imagined by the Greeks as a river of fire: the name itself means ‘flaming.’ His other Hells are no less unpleasant.

“Had Dante been allowed access to, say, radio telescopes and modern technology, he might well have imagined justice being meted out to souls trapped on Hellish exoplanets: intemperate places – some worlds of fire, others of ice – where not even the faintest idea of life can persist amidst cosmic severity. ” [. . .]    –K.S. Anthony, Outer Places, July 11, 2018.

Check out the circles of Hell as planets on Outer Places.

“The Hellish Descent of the Central African Republic”

“The death records of the Bangui morgue in the Central African Republic read like a chapter out of Dante’s Inferno: page after page of people killed by machetes, torture, lynchings, shootings, explosions and burning. The overwhelming stench makes it impossible to stay there for long. On really bad days only the number of dead is recorded – not their names nor the causes of death – before the bodies are buried in mass graves

“The morgue is a terrible symbol of the toll of communal violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), which has raged for months and claimed tens of thousands of lives, displacing even more. Recently, the Séléka, a predominantly Muslim group of fighters that seized Bangui, the capital, and toppled the CAR’s government in early 2013, have lost some ground – although they continue to terrorise wherever possible. In response Christian forces known as anti-balaka (balaka means ‘machete’ in Sango, the local language) have stepped up attacks against Muslim civilians in places where the Séléka no longer holds the sway it did a few months ago. ” [. . .]    –Peter Bouckaert, The Telegraph, February 19, 2014.

Nimrod in Portland, Maine

A bit of stretch, but seeing the name of the giant Nimrod rising up out of the snow might bring to mind Inf. 31.

The Nine Circles of a Frequent Traveler’s Hell

“As St Francis and Kurt Vonnegut reminded us, we must accept the things that we cannot change, change the things we can, and have the wisdom to know the difference between the two.

“When things are ‘off’ from my regular routine, I get a bit anxious. I’d like to say I get cranky as well, but my form of cranky usually involves me harrumphing into a ball and blasting my Spotify playlists while devouring a new book on Kindle.

“That’s my particular manifestation of ‘wisdom to know the difference between the two,’ because books are good and public meltdowns are not.

“We’re all in this travel situation together, for whatever amount of time is left to unfold. How we treat each other and apply our wisdom to know the difference between controllable and uncontrollable change is what makes traveling with others a delight and also a burden.

“As I spent my thousandth train ride on the Amtrak Acela from Boston to New York City this past week with a seat back in my lap, I considered the various predicaments that traveling with other humans can create.

“Which, of course, brought me to Dante’s Inferno, and the nine circles of hell that a person can be sent to for their various sins in the living world.

“Obviously, your previous slights and misjudgments do not necessarily earn you the circle of traveling hell you may find yourself in. But if you travel frequently enough, you will at some point accidentally find yourself in each one.” [. . .]    –Elisa Doucette, Forbes, October 12, 2015.

Read Doucette’s full list of traveler’s hell here.