Tina Turner and Dante Alighieri

In an interview with the New York Times Book Review, Tina Turner mentioned Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy in her answers to Jillian Tamaki’s literary questions.

Ms. Turner on the Divine Comedy as a book she can read again and again:

“In 2017, my kidneys were failing and I went through a prolonged period of dialysis. Every time I went to the clinic, I brought the same three books with me: The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra, the Divine Comedy, by Dante, and a book of photography by the extraordinary Horst P. Horst. I needed something for the spirit, something for the intellect and something for the senses, and the ritual of studying the same books while I was undergoing treatment was comforting to me because it imposed order on a situation I couldn’t otherwise control.” [. . .]

Ms. Turner on Dante as her first-choice guest for her literary dinner party:

“I like a dinner party to be a lively mixture of different kinds of people — young, old and everything in between. So my first choice would be Dante — after all my years of studying the Divine Comedy, I need to ask him a lot of questions! I could be his Beatrice! Since I can’t choose between Anne Rice and Stephen King, I’d set places for both of them. Their books have kept me awake for many a night because there’s nothing I enjoy more than a good scare! And I’d definitely serve Thai food, because I like things spicy.” [. . .]    –Tina Turner interviewed by Jillian Tamaki, the New York Times Book Review, October 18, 2018.

You can read the full interview on the New York Times.

The Virtual Memories Show: Prue Shaw on Time, Memory, Friendship, Poetry, & Art

Reading DanteThe Virtual Memories Show is a weekly podcast featuring interviews by Gil Roth. In Episode 111 of Virtual Memories, scholar and writer Prue Shaw discusses her book, Reading Dante: From Here to Eternity.

“We talk about our favorite parts of the Dante’s Commedia, the poem’s transformation for her over the decades, Dante’s challenge of expressing the inexpressible (especially in Paradiso), the fate of Jews in Dante’s afterworld, and the reasons why we all — poets and non-poets, believers and non-believers — should be reading Dante. [. . .]

We also talk about readers’ reticence toward starting the Commedia, why the Paradiso is the most difficult of the three books, the strange role of Ulysses in the poem, Dante’s ‘mercy rule,’ why she chose the structure and themes for Reading Dante, the perfect epigraph to her book, which she discovered too late for inclusion, and why I need to get to the Uffizi!”    —The Virtual Memories Show

Listen to the podcast here.

Director Tina Landau’s Dream Project

director-tina-landaus-dream-project“Recently, Paula Vogel’s Civil War Christmas (New York Theater Workshop); now, Bill Irwin and David Shiner’s Old Hats (Signature).
BEGINNINGS ‘I was like that kid in Annie Hall who says, ‘I’m into leather,’ except I’d walk around as a 6-year-old and say, ‘I’m into directing.’ I was raised on, and fell in love with, Broadway musicals and later fell in love with more experimental forms.’
AESTHETIC ‘I don’t gravitate toward new plays set in middle- or upper-class living rooms or kitchens. I prefer giving voice to the outsider, the minority, the renegade, and I love texts with stage directions like, ‘And then they fly to the moon and have a picnic with food that keeps changing color.”
CHANGING TIMES ‘I’ve always experienced Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway as being hospitable to me and other women I know. That said, I didn’t realize there were so many doing so much great work in New York right now.’
DREAM PROJECT ‘My own adaptation (with many collaborators) of Dante’s Divine Comedy, with characters and stories transposed to contemporary culture, with music by folks like John Zorn, Ratatat, Janelle Monáe.'”     —Eric Grode, The New York Times, January 31, 2013

M. Ward and Dante

ward-and-dante-new-york-times-article “…In a telephone interview during the South by Southwest music festival Mr. Ward described music as a puzzle he’d been working on since his youth in a Los Angeles suburb. He spoke about his desire to balance dark moods and joyous elements in his music, about his love for Dante and Marvin Gaye, and about how delving into pop music history has become vital to his songwriting.” [. . .]    –James C. McKinley Jr. The New York Times, April 1, 2012

Profs. Guy Raffa and Arielle Saiber on EA’s “Dante’s Inferno” Video Game


Jon Gordon interviews Arielle Saiber on Future Tense (now Marketplace Tech) February 17, 2010.
Read more about the interview on the Bowdoin website.


Benjamin Popper interviews Guy Raffa and Arielle Saiber for his article “Dante Alighieri: Epic Poet, Ass Kicker”
The Atlantic, February 2010.