“Observations on Heaven from Dante’s Paradiso That Also Apply to These Stills of Linda Hamilton”

“In a literary and historicist sense, Dante’s Divine Comedy was a multi-volume narrative poem that advanced some notable theological suppositions about the afterlife as well as some hot takes about Italian political and religious figures of the age and also working in some somewhat yikes fantasies about Dante’s crush, Beatrice, and idealized bromance with dead poet Virgil. In a looser, more abstract, in some ways more honest sense, though, Dante’s hysterically adulating depictions of Heaven and his crush Beatrice hanging out in it in Paradiso are also about what a fucking unreal silver fox Linda Hamilton is in the latest Terminator offering, Dark Fate. (Mackenzie Davis gays, you will have your day; this one is mine.)

When Dante was writing about being so overcome with emotion at the luminous landscape of Paradise that he was unable to speak, he may have been originally referencing an extremely specific medieval Catholic spiritual concept — but we have the benefit of centuries of context and wisdom that Dante did not, and can see that in another, more accurate way, they also reference the fact that Linda Hamilton remains an untouchable smokeshow, and is arguably even more of one than when she originally featured as my root in Terminator 2.”    –Rachel, Autostraddle, October 9, 2019

“Albertazzi recita Dante nella città ferita”

“Giovedì sera, intorno a mezzanotte, vagando fra i vari canali tv quasi tutti monopolizzati dalle vicende pubbliche e private del presidente del consiglio sono finito casualmente su Rai 2. E ho visto Giorgio Albertazzi che recitava un canto della Divina Commedia davanti a casa mia. Sì, ho guardato bene. Era appoggiato a una fontanella che si trova proprio davanti al map (alloggio provvisorio) che mi è stato assegnato nel nuovo villaggio di Onna. Ho cominciato a seguire quell’evento televisivo che mi è parso subito straordinario. E per quasi un’ora non sono riuscito a staccare occhi e orecchi.”    –Giustino Parisse, Il Centro, October 3, 2009

Francesco Gabbani, “Tra le granite e le granate” (2017)

“Oggi il paradiso costa la metà
Lo dice il venditore di felicità
In fuga dall’inferno, finalmente in viaggio
La tua vacanza in un pacchetto omaggio.”

Check out Francesco Gabbani’s 2017 album Magellano on Spotify.

Esteban Serrano’s #Dante2018 Illustrations

Esteban Serrano is a designer and cartoonist, and also goes by Cien Perros online. During the #Dante2018 collective reading on social media, Serrano created a cartoon for each canto of the Divine Comedy. The artwork above are a few of Serrano’s illustrations. Clockwise from the top right is an illustration for Paradiso 26,  an illustration for Purgatorio 29, an illustration for Inferno 34, and an illustration for Inferno 24.

You can see all of Serrano’s illustrations for the Divine Comedy on Medium.

To check out more of Serrano’s artwork, you can follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

See other posts related to #Dante2018 here.

Contributed by Pablo Maurette (Florida State University)

Maru Ceballos’ #Dante2018 Illustrations

Maru Ceballos is a visual artist known for her striking, inky, horror style. During the #Dante2018 social media initiative, Ceballos created a variety of pieces based on the Divine Comedy, and her work was used as promotional art by Museo Mitre for the exhibition “Los círculos del Dante.” Pictured above are a few of her pieces from this series. Clockwise from the top right is an illustration for Paradiso, an illustration for Purgatorio, a portrait of Dante, and an illustration for Inferno.

Maru Ceballos, autora/ilustradora de los libros Los Idiotas y Muertos de Amor y de Miedo es diseñadora gráfica y desde hace un par de años ha trabajado sobre la Divina Comedia ilustrándola. ‘Si bien lo había intentado hace mucho, no lo había leído antes,’ confiesa Maru que arrancó con una edición en verso que después perdió, pero no fue hasta hace un par de años que retomó su lectura, esta vez con una edición en prosa. ‘Fue así que agarré el libro y empecé a leer. Pero no lo hice en función de ilustrarlo. En realidad me dieron ganas de ilustrarlo cuando lo empecé a leer. Me rompió tanto la cabeza el manejo de imágenes visuales que tiene el Dante que empecé a hacer esquemas, porque la obra es larga, compleja y muy simbólica. Cuando avancé en la lectura me di cuenta que ameritaba una ilustración más conciente y empecé de cero, prestando atención a los simbolismos.'” — Interview with Barbi Couto, “La Divina Comedia, un libro para descubrir y descubrirse,” La nueva Mañana (July 3, 2018)

To view more of Maru Ceballos’ artwork, you can follow her on VSCO, Instagram, and Twitter.

Relatedly, you can read an interview with Maru Ceballos here.

See other posts related to #Dante2018 here.

Contributed by Pablo Maurette (Florida State University)

“#Dante2018: llega a su fin la lectura masiva de la Divina Comedia

“Llega el final de uno de los grandes eventos culturales del año: la lectura -masiva- y compartida a través de las redes sociales de La Divina Comedia, la obra de Dante Alighieri.

“La iniciativa, a cargo del ensayista Pablo Maurette, comenzó con el primer día del 2018 y, bajo el hashtag #Dante2018, se leyó un canto por día, a partir del cual se compartieron impresiones e inquietudes de manera colectiva en Twitter.

“Horas antes del cierre, de la lectura de La última sonrisa de Beatriz, canto final de Paraíso, con la que se concluirá la lectura colectiva, Maurette explicó a Infobae Cultura: ‘Fue una experiencia muy buena. Me impresiona que tanta gente se haya sumado y haya leído hasta el final. Hubo discusiones muy interesantes. Incluso algunas bastante acaloradas. Bastante humor, también. Se generó una verdadera comunidad virtual’ [. . .]

“Durante este día de cierre, participarán de la lectura personas de casi todos los países de habla hispana, Brasil, Italia y Estados Unidos. Esto también sucedió cuando se realizó la lectura del último canto del Infierno y el Purgatorio.” [. . .]    —Infobae, April 10, 2018.

See other posts related to #Dante2018 here.

Contributed by Pablo Maurette (Florida State University)

Alfredo Jaar, “The Divine Comedy” (2019)

“A new tunnel, named Siloam, is an AUD$27M (£15m) underground extension to David Walsh’s privately owned MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart, Tasmania. The complex of chambers, gallery spaces and connecting tunnels of Siloam feature works by Ai Weiwei, Oliver Beer and Christopher Townend but the centrepiece is a new commission by Alfredo Jaar.

Jaar’s immersive installation The Divine Comedy (2019), is a three-room installation based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso. Visitors enter—ten at a time—into three pavilions interpreting each of the realms of the 14th-century epic poem. They will encounter fire and flood in Inferno; hover between life and death with a film by the US artist Joan Jonas in Purgatorio; and, finally, simply exist in the sensory void of Paradiso.”    –Tim Stone, The Art Newspaper, July 18, 2019

Dante’s millions

“As I write, the London world championship is tied at 3½-3½, after seven games. In striving to move ahead, the challenger, Fabiano Caruana, has been the victim of the awesome mathematics of chess. According to the statisticians there are more possible moves in chess games than there are atoms in the observable universe. Ten to the power of 70 is the official estimate. As someone with a good Italian name and ancestry, Fabiano may be familiar with Dante’s Paradiso. In Canto 28 the poet writes: ‘Ed eran tante, che ‘l numero loro, Piu che ‘l doppiar de li scacchi s’inmilla.’ In other words, the number of angels or intelligences in the heavens far exceeds the immense number created by placing a piece of corn on the first square of the chessboard and doubling each time until square 64 is reached. The number of grains on this square alone will be 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 and the total number of grains on the chessboard will be 36,893,488,147,419,103,231.” […]    –Raymond Keene, The Spectator, November 24, 2018

What Rod Dreher Ought to Know About Dante and Same-Sex Love

“Dante saved my life,” testifies Rod Dreher, senior editor and blogger at The American Conservative, in his recent book, How Dante Can Save Your Life (Simon & Schuster, 2015) about how the poet’s Divine Comedy can save yours as well. His soul-baring account of how Dante Alighieri and two other spiritual guides — a Christian Orthodox priest and an evangelical therapist –helped him escape a dark wood of stress-induced depression and physical illness is smart, moving, and thoroughly engaging. Dreher’s Dante, like Virgil in the poem, does the lion’s share of the guiding, and so earns top billing and occupies most of the narrative’s prime real estate. In showing how the poem brought deeper understanding of himself and his relationships with his father, sister, and God, and in sharing the substance of those life lessons with readers (mostly in appendices to the chapters), the author does not disappoint.

“For those of us who have studied, taught, and written on Dante’s works and their legacy over many years, Dreher’s understanding and use of the Commedia will undoubtedly raise legitimate doubts and objections. However, I found myself more often than not nodding in recognition at his deft discussion of characters, scenes, and themes of the poem. Most of his sharpest points pierce the surface of famous inhabitants of Hell — amorous Francesca, proud Farinata, worldly Brunetto, and megalomaniacal Ulysses are among the highlights; oddly for a book on rescuing lives and souls, he devotes fewer words to the saved individuals in Purgatory and Paradise.” […]    –Guy P. Raffa, Pop Matters, January 21, 2016

The Social Network of Dante’s Inferno

“The first product coming out from this crazy idea was “The Social Network of Dante’s Inferno“, presented in the 2010 edition of the “Arts, Humanities and Complex Networks” symposium of NetSci and then published in a 2011 special issue of the Leonardo journal. In this work we were moved by the question: is a network of characters following some particular predictive patterns? If so: which ones?

“So we took a digital copy of Dante’s Inferno, where all interactions and characters were annotated with extra information (who the character was, if she was a historic or mythological figure, when she lived, …). We then considered each character as a node of the network. We created an edge between two characters if they had at least a direct exchange of words. Normal people would call this “a dialogue”.

“The double-focus point of the Commedia emerges quite naturally, as Dante and Virgilio are the so-called “hubs” of the system. It is a nice textbook example of the rich-get-richer effect, a classic network result. But contrary to what the title of the paper says, we went beyond that. There are not only “social” relationships. Each character is also connected to all the information we have about her. There is another layer, a semantic one, where we have nodes such as “Guelph” or “Middle Ages”. These nodes enable us to browse the Commedia as a network of concepts that Dante wanted to connect in one way or another. One can ask some questions like “are Ghibelline characters preferably connected to historic or mythological characters?” or “what’s the centrality of political characters in the Inferno as opposed to the Purgatorio?” and create one’s own interpretation of the Commedia.” […]    Michele Coscia, Michele Coscia, 12 December, 2013