Sante Matteo, “The Journey Home in Baseball: The Bible and the Divine Comedy” (2020)

“In the middle of of our industrialized cities, surrounded by concrete, metal, and plastic structures, baseball parks enclose a green field, a vestigial ‘paradise’ in the original Persian sense of the word.  Within that symbolic space a ritual is routinely performed.  Throngs of worshippers (spectators, fans) participate vicariously while members of a revered priestly class (players, coaches, and umpires) re-enact the story of humanity’s exile from Eden and the perennial longing to return there: to make it all the way around back to home base.

“Circling the bases—itself an expression redolent of another perennial quixotic human quest: that of squaring the circle; or inversely in this case, circling the square: the bases forming a square, or diamond, that the base runner circles–and reaching home constitutes a journey analogous to the one that Dante undertakes in his Divine Comedy.  Finding himself lost in a dark wood, Dante sets off–with Virgil and then Beatrice as his first- and third-base ‘coaches’–on a voyage that will take him first through the circles of Hell (first base),  then the slopes of Purgatory (second base), and then the planetary and starry spheres of Paradise (third base), all the way to the Empyrean (home plate), where the souls that have achieved salvation dwell in the presence of God.” [. . .]  — Sante Matteo, “The Journey Home in Baseball: The Bible and the Divine Comedy,” KAIROS Literary Magazine, May 1, 2020

Contributed by Sante Matteo (Miami University, OH)

Mark Vernon’s Podcast Dante’s Divine Comedy (2020)

“This year, 2020, marks the 700th anniversary of the completion of the great Divine Comedy. I invite you to experience the odyssey, too, by accompanying me as I discuss each canto.

“Dante begins his journey by waking up in a dark wood. The air tastes bitter. He becomes fearful. Truth is out of reach. But his crisis is a turning point.

“Many today, too, are waking up to something that’s gone wrong. We’re in a spiritual crisis. We must see the world afresh and understand. I believe Dante can help us discover how.

“I’ll post reflections on two or more cantos each week as we reach for the highest heavens. Follow every step of the way on YouTube [. . .] or via the podcast, Dante’s Divine Comedy.”  — Mark Vernon

The Grieco Brothers’ Inferno, the Musical (2020)

The Grieco Brothers‘ new musical, Inferno, is staged in the Caves at Pertosa-Auletta, in the province of Salerno. Of the brothers’ interest in representing the Inferno, Massimo Grieco says, “Nietzsche diceva che se si guarda per un tempo sufficiente nell’abisso, l’abisso guarderà dentro te. L’inferno è, per me, la migliore rappresentazione dei fantasmi che albergano dentro di noi. È il nostro abisso. Ed in questo senso, esaminare l’inferno è un viaggio di andata e ritorno dentro di sé. Se si è abbastanza equilibrati ed onesti, si accettano i propri abissi e si gestiscono. Solo così possiamo, ogni mattina, riaprire gli occhi, riuscire a riveder le stelle, considerato i giorni che stiamo attualmente vivendo.”  –Massimo Grieco, in an interview with Lorenzo Calafiore, “Da Itaca all’Inferno. Lorenzo Calafiore dialoga con i Grieco Brothers,” Insula europea (25 March 2020)

The Grotte di Pertosa-Auletta have also served as the backdrop to immersive, ambulatory performances by the troupe Tappeto Volante, directed by Domenico M. Corrado (see post here).

Selva Oscura

Selva Oscura is a music documentary that explores the creative process during the making of a music video for the song ‘Stolidi Pensieri.’ It also references the opening of Dante’s Inferno and translates to ‘The Dark Forest.’ It’s symbolic of a journey to unknown destinations, which is also our story, as we accidentally created a living project that never had a predetermined outcome and led us in a direction where we were all free to experiment within our disciplines.”    –John Welsh, Vimeo, September 8, 2017

The Circles of Hell on a Trip to Mount Bromo (Indonesia)

Mount-Bromo-Indonesia-Ninth-Circle-Dantes-Inferno“Mount Bromo is located at about 4 hours drive from Surabaya, the capital of East Java, in Indonesia and it is part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. It is considered one of the top bucket list destinations in Indonesia, one of the places to visit in Indonesia. I suppose it deserves to be one of them.

“You see, I am an atheist and hardly a believer that heaven and hell exist. Yet, if I have to describe my experience in Mount Bromo, the first thing that comes to my mind are the Nine Circles of Hell of Dante’s Inferno. Much like Dante’s journey through hell, accompanied by his guide Virgil, I felt that I was also going through the nine circles, although in my case there was no real guide in sight but just other members of the tour group.” — Claudia Tavani, “Ring of Fire or Circle of Hell? Crossing Dante’s Inferno on Mount Bromo,” My Adventures Across the World, November 10, 2015

Read more about Tavani’s adventure on Mount Bromo here.

Charles Patterson, In Dante’s Footsteps: My Journey to Hell

“This modern divine comedy, based on the original Divine Comedy that Dante wrote 700 years ago, tells the story of Tom Reed and how his early interest in Dante inspired him to make his own viaggio (journey) to the Underworld.

“After describing Tom’s church upbringing and his joining, then leaving the church, the story continues in the Underworld (a.k.a. Hell) with a cast of characters Dante never could have imagined: Tanya, the CEO; Umberto, the Guest Master; Rachel, a young Dante scholar from Berkeley; visitors from China, India, Kenya, and Germany; and famous people in history woken up from the Big Nap for a ‘Great Minds and Personalities’ conference attended by such greats as Socrates, Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc, Einstein, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Groucho Marx. Tom also visits his father who’s in a ‘Purgatory precinct’ and talks to Hashem, his ‘wife’ Naomi, and somebody called Satan who wears a cowboy hat and walks with a swagger.

“The climax of Tom’s viaggio is his visit to the Crusaders who used to be in charge because he wants to include them in the book he plans to write that could make him the next Dante. However, because the Crusaders disapprove of his being a ‘defrocked priest,’ when he arrives, they withdraw their invitation and put him on trial.” — Charles Patterson, Press Release

The Returno to the Inferno by Luigi Enrico Pietra D’Oro (2018)

The Returno to the Inferno by Luigi Enrico Pietra D’Oro (Lewis Goldstein) is a book-length epic poem that follows up on Dante’s Inferno with an original, modern discourse (written entirely in rhymed poetry, the same structure Dante used for his original) about what hell is really about in current times—and it’s closer to home than you think. Luigi is now older and less tolerant of the misery and loneliness he sees in our modern, crowded world. And who would be better to help Luigi see the world for what it really is than Robin Williams (or what’s left of him after his own private hell…). The journey of hellish comedy continues with cameo appearances of other laughter-inducing luminaries and even a popular talk-show host whose guest is no other than Satan—who’s not too shabby as a guest, actually. There are great historical figures, as well, who are fittingly housed with the criminally insane, and just rewards for corporate leaders, religious clergy (topped by a lively Pope, for example, who awaits Luigi in Purgatory), politicians and the good old NRA. The journey is portrayed on a large canvas with vivid scenes and clever dialogue, and for a willing reader who cares to suspend disbelief and accept the surreal as real, there’s a richness here that’s unique and memorable. In summary, as with his previous books, the author manages to simultaneously induce bursts of uncontrollable laughter and bouts of unconventional self-reflection. An exceptional book!” — The Editorial Board of the Columbia Review of Books & Film

The book is available on Amazon.

Contributed by Lewis Goldstein

Daily Dante Blog

“Welcome to Daily Dante, a blogging adventure that follows the pilgrim Dante through his journey to hell and back, as we savor the poet Dante’s masterpiece The Divine Comedy.

Daily-Dante-Lenten-Spiritual-Discipline-BlogDaily Dante is a collaborative blog, written by a motley band of Dantophiles living in the Princeton, NJ area. We began during Lent of 2010, when we adopted blogging as a Lenten discipline: a canto a day (excepting Sundays, which technically do not count as Lent), which conveniently allowed us to finish more or less just before Easter. We have completed Inferno, and Purgatorio, and finished blogging through Paradiso during Lent 2012.” — homepage of Daily Dante: Dante as Lenten Spiritual Discipline

 

Anton Brzezinski, “Anton’s Inferno: Dante’s Inferno Revisited” (2008)

Untitled“Surrealist painter Anton Brzezinski takes us on a modern journey through Hell. This time the poet Virgil is replaced by his one time neighbor in New York, the writer William S. Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch. Well known for his Sci Fi illustrations and surrealisms, Anton Brzezinski is a versatile artist who creates in a number of media. Currently he’s completing a feature length video called Adventures of the Living Dali. Anton’s Inferno was written at the same time he created a complex 38 inch by 50 inch oil painting of the same name. This novelette is a sometimes irreverent satire. He cautions if you’re easily offended, please give this to someone with a sense of humor.”  —Amazon

Ron Bassilian and Jim Wheelock, Inferno Los Angeles (2015)

INFERNOlosAngelesCOV“Over 700 years ago, the poet Dante Alighieri found his way to the Underworld from the dark wood outside his native Florence, and the adventure he recorded in The Inferno still haunts us to this day.

“Now, in modern times, a new traveler finds his gateway to Hell beneath the urban jungle of the “City of Angels.” Inferno Los Angeles revisits Dante’s journey, weaving new characters and contemporary scenarios with the timelessly familiar scenes Dante described. It is an adventure of pure imagination, fraught with obstacles, monsters, horrific visions and prophecies — all visualized in an epic graphic style. Journey with him, as each step down this human whirlpool brings new dangers and monstrosities, as we delve ever deeper into the torments of our own minds.

INFERNO LOS ANGELES is a 136 page, full color graphic novel published in a deluxe over-sized hardcover edition by NeoClassics Press.”    —Inferno Los Angeles