Gary Panter, Songy of Paradise (2017)

Gary-Panter-Songy-of-Paradise“The final issue of Jimbo – #7 – chronicles Jimbo’s descent into Hell, represented on the page as an abandoned mall. The comic is a scant 33 pages long, but Fantagraphics decided to make a big deal of it: they repackaged Jimbo #7 as Jimbo’s Inferno, a gigantic, 11×15 hardcover book, and followed it with Jimbo in Purgatory.

“The wider reading public began to notice what Panter was doing: each page corresponded to a canto in Dante’s classic poems. Though the improvisational-looking drawings were of robots or monsters or yokels on tractors, they were all part of a highly complex representational scheme that paid homage to, and made fun of, Dante all at once.

“The last volume in the trilogy ships this month: Songy of Paradise merges Dante’s Paradiso with Milton’s Paradise Regained, and tells the story of Jesus’s temptation in the desert, with a gap-toothed hillbilly named Songy taking the place of Jesus (Panter: ‘I didn’t want to deal with Jesus’).” –Sam Thielman, “Gary Panter: The Cartoonist Who Took a Trip to Hell and Back,” The Guardian, July 18, 2017

See also our previous post on Gary Panter’s 2006 graphic novel Jimbo’s Inferno here.

Dante’s Table, Castro, San Francisco

Dantes-Table-SF-Restaurant“[Owner Francesco] D’Ippolito is a fan of Italian poetry, especially Dante’s three-part Divine Comedy, which is why he named his first restaurant Poesia. For Dante’s Table, he hired muralist John Baden […] to do bold and colorful, Dante-inspired works for the walls of the restaurant. The main dining represents Dante’s seminal epic poem, Inferno, with the hallway leading to the rear being Purgatorio, and the back dining room and patio being Paradiso. (D’Ippolito will be making the rear area and the garden patio available for private events.) For now, as the patio gets renovated, they have a tarp up that reads ‘Paradise is Coming…’.” — Jay Barmann, “First Look at Dante’s Table, Now Open in the Castro,” Grubstreet (April 25, 2013)

Purgatory/Paradise by Throwing Muses

kristen-hersch-throwing-muses“The title of the first Throwing Muses record in a decade is Purgatory/Paradise, but frontwoman Kristin Hersh has another name for it. ‘Our pet name is Precious/Pretentious,’ she says with a laugh. Speaking from Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island, where she was raised, she says that while the title does not reference Dante – it’s actually a reference to an intersection of roads on the island – she’s happy to have escaped the inferno of making the album. ‘It took us five years to make this record and we are absolutely obsessed with it,’ she tells Rolling Stone.” [. . .]    –Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, November 29, 2013

Donna Distefano “Elixir of Love” ring and “The Love that Moves the Sun and the Other Stars” ring

 

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“Our 22 karat gold and ruby Elixir of Love ring can hold your tiniest possessions. The griffin was a legendary creature with the body of lion and the head and wings of an eagle. The combination indicates both intelligence and strength. The griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature, renowned for guarding treasures and other priceless possessions. Our griffin is carrying a Maltese cross which is considered a symbol of protection and a badge of honor representing loyalty, generosity, bravery, and helpfulness towards others. In Dante’s Divine Comedy Beatrice takes off into the Heavens to begin Dante’s journey through paradise on a flying Griffin that moves as fast as lightning.”    —Donna Distefano

See also this brief video where she discusses a ring named “The Love that Moves the Sun and the Other Stars,” which was inspired by elements within the final cantos of Paradiso (the celestial rose, Mary), and the number 33.  In Style magazine did a piece on it, too.

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Roberta Delaney, “Translations and Transformations”

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“‘Translations and Transformations’ is a journey with two destinations: Dante’s and mine. Dante’s Divine Comedy was written at in the early 14th century, in Italian, and in verse. He is the narrator and main character. Since 1812 when it was first translated into English, this long poem of 100 Cantos has been translated continuously just in English. Dante’s journey takes us down into the many levels of the Inferno (the Pope is next to Satan); we leave the Inferno climb a mountain out of Purgatory leading to Paradise. Dante has completed his journey and returns to earth, content.
I have also completed my journey. The Divine Comedy is still being translated because within the poem’s tight geometric structure, Dante has exposed the flaws of human nature. He was a Catholic, but highly critical of the clergy. In the wider sense, pride is still with us as is greed. This is a universal work of art that resonates in today’s living language and, fortunately via translators, for future generations.
There are twenty-six etchings in ‘Translations and Transformations’, it is bound and all the text is letterpress printed. The Italian text is printed in light gray, the English translations in black. Open, the size is 13″high X 37”wide.”    —Roberta Delaney

Seymour Chwast’s Adaptation of Dante’s Divine Comedy (2010)

seymour-chwast-adaptation-of-dantes-divine-comedy-2010“‘I, Dante, will tell you the story of my trip to the after world… but will I come back?’ So begins Seymour Chwast’s noirish graphic adaptation of what is perhaps the world’s most famous tale of spiritual tourism, the Divine Comedy. The list of artists who have tried their hand at visually interpreting Dante’s epic is both long and distinguished, but it would be safe to say that Chwast, a co-founder of Push Pin Studios and a longtime contributor to The New Yorker, may have had the most fun with the subject since Dante himself. . .
The book is more than an original take on Dante, though. It also represents Chwast’s fresh take on the graphic novel. Chwast eschews the expected rhythm of comic panels in favor of stunning drawings that leap and tumble all over the page. One of my favorite moments is a glorious two-page spread depicting the Emperor Justinian and a chorus line of flappers and vaudeville performers as they dance a welcome to Dante (and us) across a divine expanse. Justinian, of course, is dressed to the heavenly nines in a nineteen-thirties-style pinstripe suit, vest, and bow tie, and is sporting what one can only assume is his trademark pencil mustache.”    –Jordan Awan, The New Yorker, November 15, 2010

Richard Wilbur, “Terza Rima”

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Found at The New Yorker.

Contributed by Aisha Woodward (Bowdoin, ’08)

ABC Series “Lost”

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“In the most recent episode (aired March 14) one particular bit of dialogue rang particularly true to me of Dante’s ideas of Purgatory and Paradise:

Kate: Why would you want to come back?
Mikhail: You would not understand.
Kate: Try me.
Mikhail: I misspoke, what I meant to say is you are not capable of understanding.
Kate: And why am I not capable?
Mikhail: Because you are not on the list.
Kate: What list?
Mikhail: The man who brought me here, who brought all of my people here, he is a magnificent man.
Mikhail: I will try to make this as simple as I can. You are not on the list because you are flawed, because you are angry and weak and frightened.

Much like the virtuous pagans who died before Christ and those whose souls have not been purified by the purgation process cannot comprehend Paradise, it seems as if, at least in the minds of “the Others” those who are not on the list, which seems to be comprised of only those who they deem good, cannot comprehend the goodness of the island. Of course, this would make the island some odd hybrid of Purgatory (since the inhabitants do seem to relive their past mistakes and, in some way, atone for them) and Paradise, since the others view the island as their paradise. Of course the others are no angels (wow that was a bad joke)–they seem to be willing to go as far as murder to protect their paradise. Perhaps this bit of dialogue is evidence that the writers were inspired by aspects of the Divine Comedy.”    –Charlie Russell-Schlesinger

Contributed by Charlie Russell-Schlesinger (Bowdoin, ’08)

Neocommedia: Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise (2002)

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“An immersive adaptation of Dante’s Divine Comedy exploring the modern deity of Information.”    —iKatun

“iKatun’s Paradise is based on Dante’s Paradise from the Divine Comedy, however, this Paradise is not about perfect morality but about perfect information. iKatun’s Paradise alludes to instant availability and perfect knowledge; a single data point of infinite density; the faultless model of information to which all media systems aspire; the space where entropy does not exist.”    —iKatun

Rings Designed by Anne Fischer

Anne Fischer’s Works
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“And even as a second ray is wont to issue from the first, and mount upwards again, thus of her action, infused through the eyes into my imagination, mine was made, and I fixed my eyes on the sun beyond our wont, I did not endure it long, nor so little that I did not see it sparkle” (Par. I). Translated by Charles S. Singleton.    —Moss Online (retrieved on September 15, 2006)
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“Gloom of hell, or night bereft of every planet under a barren sky … never made a veil to my sight so thick nor of stuff so harsh, … as that smoke which covered us there, so that it did not let the eye stay open; wherefore my wise and trusty escort drew to my side and offered me his shoulder. Even as a blind man goes behind his guide that he may not stray or knock against what might injure or … kill him, so I went through that bitter and foul air, listening to my leader, who kept saying, ‘Take care that you are not cut off from me.'” (Purg. XVI.1-15). Translated by Charles S. Singleton.    –This Next