PrPh Rare Books: Exhibition of Livio Ambrogio’s Dante collection

PRPH Books is pleased to announce that from April 8th, 2016 an exceptional exhibit on Dante Alighieri will be hosted in our gallery on the Upper East Side. The exhibit will show an outstanding selection of fifty books and manuscripts, all coming from the collection of Livio Ambrogio, without any doubt the most important and comprehensive Dante collection today in private hands. The exhibit will remain open until May 13th, 2016, Mon-Fri 10am-6pm. For further information, please contact us at news@prphbooks.com

Trump Circle

160222_a19809-1000The New Yorker, February 22, 2016

Thinking Against Violence

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Images projected in Lyon, France, as tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks. Credit Robert Pratta/Reuters

This is an interview with Brad Evans, a senior lecturer in international relations at the University of Bristol in England. He is the founder and director of the Histories of Violence project, a global research initiative on the meaning of mass violence in the 21st century.

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[…] “But let’s consider for a moment what the thinker [the sculpture by Rodin] is actually contemplating. Sat alone on his plinth, the thinker could in fact be thinking about anything in particular. We just hope it is something serious. Such ambiguity was not however as Rodin intended. In the original 1880 sculpture, the thinker actually appears kneeling before the Gates of Hell. We might read this as significant for a whole number of reasons. First, it is the “scene of violence,” which gives specific context to Rodin’s thinker. Thought begins for the thinker in the presence of the raw realities of violence and suffering. The thinker in fact is being forced to suffer into truth.

“Second, there is an interesting tension in terms of the thinker’s relationship to violence. Sat before the gates, the thinker appears to be turning away from the intolerable scene behind. This we could argue is a tendency unfortunately all too common when thinking about violence today. Turning away into abstraction or some scientifically neutralizing position of “objectivity.” And yet, according to one purposeful reading, the figure in this commission is actually Dante, who is contemplating the circles of hell as narrated in The Divine Comedy. This is significant. Rather than looking away, might it be that the figure is now actually staring directing into the abyss below? Hence raising the fundamental ethical question of what it means to be forced witness to violence?” […]   –Natasha Lennard and Brad Evans, The New York Times, December 16, 2015

“Daily Life Everlasting”

Daily Life EverlastingDaily Life Everlasting” is a dance-theater piece written by Charles L. Mee and directed by Dan Safer, performed at La MaMa in New York City by Witness Relocation.

“The third collaboration between Witness Relocation and acclaimed writer Charles Mee, in which people meet, fall in love, make out with each other, find being alive awkward but funny, and dance quite a lot. With original songs by Obie-winning composer Heather Christian and costume design by Brooklyn-based maverick fashion designer Brad Callahan.”    —La MaMa

“When the actors do speak Mr. Mee’s lines, they’re usually playing with or around or against them — and probably nuzzling each other at the same time. Plato is name-dropped. And Aristotle. And Dante. But love and lust rather than dusty old books set the play’s libidinous heart aflutter.”    —The New York Times

Nathaniel Rich, Odds Against Tomorrow (2013)

Odds Against TomorrowMitchell Zukor, the protagonist of Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow, suffers from panic attacks and often uses phrases like “going to a deeper circle in hell.”

Rich’s website describes the novel:

“New York City, the near future: Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician, is hired by a mysterious new financial consulting firm, FutureWorld. The business operates out of an empty office in the Empire State Building; Mitchell is employee number two. [. . .]

“As Mitchell immerses himself in the mathematics of catastrophe–ecological collapse, war games, natural disasters–he becomes obsessed by a culture’s fears. [. . .]

“Then, just as Mitchell’s predictions reach a nightmarish crescendo, an actual worst-case scenario overtakes Manhattan. [. . .]

“At once an all-too plausible literary thriller, an unexpected love story, and a philosophically searching inquiry into the nature of fear, Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow poses the ultimate questions of imagination and civilization. The future is not quite what it used to be.”    —Nathaniel Rich’s Website

 

Contributed by Thomas Jonkergouw, Universiteit Utrecht

Danton Walker, Danton’s Inferno (1955)

Danton's Inferno

Danton Walker’s 1955 novel, Danton’s Inferno: The Story of a Columnist and How He Grew is a memoir by Walker (1899-1960) about his time as a columnist for The New York Times. The book is similar to the Inferno in that it lists people with whom Walker worked throughout his career, sometimes condemning them.

Access Walker’s work for The New York Times here.

 

Contributed by Scott Reid

Yellow House, Dante: The Motion Picture

Dante Motion Picture

Dante: The Motion Picture will be a cinematic effort by production company Yellow House to accurately represent The Divine Comedy‘s story and settings.

“One small production company taking on the challenge of creating a piece of cinema magic, based on the epic poem, The Divine Comedy.

“You’ve seen the cartoons and video game adaption tie-ins, but none of the films based on Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy quite cut it for an accurate portrayal of the events, locations and characters that readers have grown to love over the centuries. Fans of the material have been begging for Hollywood’s take on the classic Italian poem since the dawn of cinema, however, time and time again they have been left empty handed. [. . .]

“This is a live-action, all out ‘in your face’, portrayal of Dante’s journey. A journey fueled by his love for Beatrice while being led through the depths of hell by the seemingly all-knowing Virgil.”    —Dante: The Motion Picture’s Kickstarter

 

To donate to the project, visit their Kickstarter page by December 14, 2014.

Learn more at www.dantemotionpicture.com.

SAWTOOTH Dancers’ Ombra

Dance company SAWTOOTH performs a Dante-inspired piece, Ombra, at Dixon Place in Chelsea, NY, on July 24, 2014.

SAWTOOTH Dancers“Inspired by Dante’s Paradiso and Plato’s Cave, Ombra is a multimedia dance performance embedded within a dance party. Drawing in part from a hypnotic, Butoh-inspired physicality, the dance performance emerges as episodic dreamscapes within a clubbing experience and a live cabaret. Sound artist Michael Feld orchestrates an eclectic sound score that moves between live percussion, electronic sound art, and 90s dance hits.

“Ombra asserts that liberation is created, not revealed. With humor, Ombra (Italian for ‘shadow’) is a piece that hopes to offer a re-evaluation of the dark, and it seeks to relocate the site of true human ascendance within the shadows and the shadows we make.”    —Dixon Place

To read about SAWTOOTH, click here.

To read about Dixon Place, click here.

Raffaella Silvestri, “A Ray of Literary Hope on Italian TV”

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“Some 10 percent of Italian households did not own a single book. According to the 2013 Survey of Adult Skills by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, nearly 70 percent of the country of Dante and di Lampedusa is unable to ‘understand and respond appropriately to dense or lengthy texts.'”

Raffaella Silvestri, “A Ray of Literary Hope on Italian TV,” The New York Times, April 21, 2014

Zachary Woolfe, “A Circle of Composers, Intimate and Epic”

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“There is an operatic quality coursing through the work of the Second Empire sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-75), the subject of a powerful exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, through May 26, that inspired a concert of French vocal music at the museum on Saturday evening.

“Look at Carpeaux’s best-known masterpiece, the wrenching ‘Ugolino and his Sons’ based on Dante: Here are both epic scope and intimate detail (those clenched feet!), the combination that 19th-century opera specialized in. It’s no surprise, given the adroitness of his balance between exuberance and restraint, that he was asked to design a relief for the exterior of Charles Garnier’s opera house in Paris. The result, a swirling mass of figures called ‘La Danse,’ fairly explodes off the facade.”    –Zachary Woolfe, “A Circle of Composers, Intimate and Epic,” The New York Times, April 29, 2014