“When political upheaval forces her family to flee and separate, Antonia takes her brother’s advice to heart as she journeys through Italy and France with her father, the poet Dante Alighieri. She becomes a pilgrim who also embraces interior journeys: she struggles with her difficult, inattentive father; with her heart’s desire to paint as her father writes; and with her first tastes of young love. All the while Antonia harbors dreams that others tell her women are not entitles to dream. Dante’s Daughter portrays a life in full, one that beautifully answers Antonia’s own questions: “Had my journey made me wise? Had my secret griefs made me strong?” This highly imagined story–based on the few known facts of Antonia’s life–is set against the dramatic background of pre-Renaissance Europe, rendered in rich detail by storyteller and historian Kimberley Heuston.” —Amazon
“With echoes of The Name of the Rose, comes this thought-provoking novel about an attempted murder and its mystical consequences. Part mystery, part psychological drama about love, part depiction of the duality of human nature, of good and evil, of heterosexuality and bisexuality, part exploration of the making of a Christian mystic, Dear Dante simply defies easy categorization. Anthony Maulucci has compressed many layers into his well-wrought narrative and finely tuned characterizations. The main narrator of Dear Dante is an English-born Italian named John, a professor of Renaissance studies living in Tuscany and writing a book about Dante. A bi-sexual father in the midst of a marital and spiritual crisis, John has visions of Dante and Beatrice while listening to his former student’s story of a redemptive journey through a personal hell — the attempt to murder his lover’s husband and his struggle to choose between the two women in his life — that reawaken his creative energies and help bring about his spiritual renewal.” —Amazon
“On a remarkably pleasant night in early August, Patrizia Dolcini, a 44-year-old hotel worker, was jolted from her sleep by a series of violent explosions just outside her first-floor bedroom window in one of Rome’s most upscale areas.
Ms. Dolcini ran outside, where others were gathering, as a frightening scene unfolded: more than a dozen parked motor scooters had burst into flames, transforming an entire intersection into an inferno. The blaze engulfed a nearby tree and leapt five stories in the air. Black smoke billowed above this city’s fairy-tale skyline. From a few blocks away, there came another explosion. Then, from a different direction, another.” [. . .] –Brian Wingfeld, The New York Times, September 5, 2005
“Hannibal is set in Florence where the notorius Hannibal Lecter is posing as a medievalist and Dante scholar. He lectures on the Divine Comedy and recites poetry from the Vita nuova, as well as attends an operatic adaptation of the Vita nuova. Apart from these explicit references to Dante, there is also a sense in which the homicidal methods he employs mirror, contrapasso like, the sins of his victims, all of whom are in some sense bad. The noble folk, Starling and a nurse, are spared, despite HL’s ample oppourtunities to kill them. It is difficult to equate any of the movie’s characters with those of the Divine Comedy, although Lector does in a sense play Virgil to Starling’s pilgrim; but in his role as avenger of evil, serial killer, HL appears more like the wrathful Old Testament God.” –Peter Schwindt
For a compilation of references to Dante in the film, see the post on the website greatdante.net.
Contributed by Peter Schwindt