Pia come la canto io, Album by Gianna Nannini (2007)

“Dolente Pia, dolente Pia,
Gianna-Nannini-Pia-come-la-canto-io-Dantedolente Pia innocente è prigioniera.
Col capo chino, la fronte al seno,
pensa a quei giorni del passato ricordi in fior.

“Torna, sento già la tua luce nell’anima.
Sei qui con me, sono le braccia tue che stringo.
Per quanti mesi e notti e giorni,
non saprei dire, non lo so ma questo è certo:
ci fu l’inverno, poi primavera,
la vita torna nel castello ma non per me.
Guarda se ne va questo sogno di te.
Là batte l’onda e un cavallo galoppa.
Ma l’amore, il nostro amore, marcisce dietro a questa porta.

“Ma l’amore, questo amore, marcisce dietro a quella porta.
Fa sempre freddo, in quelle mura,
il cielo è chiaro ma la terra resta scura.
Poi il primo verde, la lunga luce,
pensa a quei giorni del passato ricordi in fior.
Dolente Pia, dolente Pia,
Dolente Pia innocente è prigioniera.
Col capo chino, la fronte al seno,
pensa a quei giorni del passato ricordi in fior.”

–“Dolente Pia,” from the 2007 album Pia come la canto io by Gianna Nannini

Listen to the song here.

For a comparative analysis of Dante’s Pia with Nannini’s, see the blog laletteraturaenoi.it.

Contributed by Anna Lisa Somma (University of Birmingham)

“Rap God” Video by Eminem

A few Dante-related images flash through the music video for Eminem’s song “Rap God.” The video shows several of Gustave Doré’s illustrations of Purgatorio and Paradiso, as well as a quick shot of the spine of a book that reads Inferno:

Eminem-Rap-God-Inferno-Book-Spine

Contributor Hunter Sherry writes, “As this image is shown the lyrics in the song are ‘I want to make sure somewhere in this chicken scratch I scribble and doodle enough rhymes, to maybe try to get some people through tough times’ and I think this is a reference to Dante’s Divine Comedy rhyming in its original Italian version. The song is also about the divinity of Eminem with respect to rap and hip hop so a Dante reference would make sense in the context of the song.”

Watch the full video on YouTube here.

Contributed by Hunter Sherry (University of Delaware)

Dante Murals at Saint Mary’s College, California

St-Marys-College-California-Dante-Murals-Inferno-Ellen-Silva

In 2006, artists Susan Cervantes and Ellen Silva collaborated on a series of Dante-themed murals for the walls of Dante Hall, at Saint Mary’s College of California.

“The powerful imagery of Dante’s Divine Comedy is leaping off the page and onto the walls of Dante Hall, where artists are transforming the drab first-floor corridor with colorful murals of Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso.

Beatrice-Dante-Mural-SMC-California-Ellen-Silva

“Shawny Anderson, associate dean of the School of Liberal Arts, proposed the project in 2005 for a class which never came to be, but the idea resonated with the school’s leaders.

“‘I always thought that the halls of the College should ‘sing’ of the authors they honor,’ Anderson says.” –Debra Holtz, “Visualizing Dante,” St. Mary’s College of California News

See Ellen Silva’s page here.

The Purgatory Home Companion, Mark Abramson and Rob K (2011)

Rob_K-Purgatory-Home-Companion-Mark-Abramson

“The Purgatory Home Companion is an album of music based on Dante’s Purgatorio by trash-blues artist Rob K, which I co-wrote and produced. [. . .]

“The Purgatory Home Companion was a collaborative project which worked as follows: Rob and I sent a request to all the musicians and some of the artists that we know to send us music, noise or spoken word recordings. Some of the contributions were from established artists, like Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Jon Spencer of the Blues Explosion. Some were from our less well known but still talented friends. We received over 100 of these audio contributions. Rob and I organized them, built audio collages from them. I wrote the music around the collaged framework, and Rob wove in the lyrics which were based on his take on Purgatorio.”   — Mark Abramson of Zen Jam Graphic Design and Art Direction Studios

Photo credit Mark Stalnaker.

“Let it Go,” Dante’s Inferno Version (2014)

Let it Go

As part of a short film, “Chauncy Cobra and the Writing on the Wall,” students wrote and performed a parody of “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen. In the song, Dante laments his time spent in Hell, begging Beatrice, “Let me go!”

Watch the music video here.

 

Contributed by Mary Margaret Blum (Gettysburg College, ’18)

Dwight Garner, “‘Echo’s Bones,’ A Beckett Short Story Rediscovered”

Beckett-Echos-Bones-Belacqua-Dante“When the British publisher Chatto & Windus agreed in 1933 to publish Samuel Beckett’s first book of fiction, a collection of 10 interrelated stories titled ‘More Pricks Than Kicks,’ it asked him for one final story, a culminating wallop.

“There was a problem. Beckett had killed off the book’s protagonist, a Dublin intellectual named Belacqua Shuah, in an earlier story. He had to be nonchalantly resurrected. A second problem arose. Beckett’s editor at Chatto & Windus, Charles Prentice, found the new story Beckett delivered, ‘Echo’s Bones,’ to resemble less a comely infant than a troubling heap of placenta and broken forceps.

“’It is a nightmare,’ Prentice wrote to Beckett. This was the start of one of the great rejection letters in literary history. ‘It gives me the jim-jams.’ He declared: ‘People will shudder and be puzzled and confused.’

It’s not you, Prentice continued. It’s me. ‘I am sitting on the ground, and ashes are on my head.’ [. . .]

“Its pleasures border on the painful; you will have to like the sound of breaking glass. You may wish to exclaim about ‘Echo’s Bones,’ as Belacqua does about his re-emergence on earth, ‘My soul begins to be idly goaded and racked, all the old pains and aches of me soul-junk return!’

Soul-junk isn’t a bad term for Beckett’s prose here. ‘Echo’s Bones,’ as Mr. Nixon’s annotations make clear, is a magpie’s assortment of references, allusions and quotations, with nods to Dante, Shakespeare, Dickens, Mozart, biographies, folklore, movies, popular songs. Set amid all this are cosmic stage directions of the sort we later became familiar with in Beckett. Here’s one: ‘Doyle ate dirt.'”    –Dwight Garner, “A Castoff Joins a Master’s Canon: ‘Echo’s Bones,’ A Beckett Short Story Rediscovered,” New York Times

Marcello Toninelli’s Dante: La Divina Commedia a Fumetti (2007)

Toninelli's DanteMarcello Toninelli, Italian cartoonist, published a comic-strip version of The Divine Comedy beginning in 2007.

“Così il fiorentino Alighieri raccontava il suo viaggio all’Inferno, ma è risaputo che… faceva la Commedia! Il senese Marcello la racconta in un altro modo, decisamente più divertente. Nell’Oltretomba nato dalla sua irriverente matita Omero gioca a mosca cieca, Cerbero mangia alla mensa diavoli e Virgilio fa, suo malgrado… il parafulmine! Seguendo rispettosamente il tracciato dell’opera originale ma occhieggiando continuamente al nostro presente, con quest’opera Marcello ha realizzato la più completa, esilarante e irresistibile parodia del capolavoro dantesco.”    —Amazon.it

Click here to visit Toninelli’s blog, “Io e Dante”.

Contributed by Angela Lavecchia

Francesco Gungui, Canti delle Terre Divise (2014)

canti-delle-terre-divise

Canti delle Terre Divise

Italian author Francesco Gungui completed the Canti delle Terre Divise trilogy this year: Inferno (2103), Purgatorio, and Paradiso (2014). Gungui’s young adult novels tell the story of Alec and Maj, two teenagers living in a dystopic city that resembles the landscape of The Divine ComedyGungui, a Milan native, is a popular young adult writer in Italy. The Canti delle Terre Divise series is his most recent work.

“Se sei nato a Europa, la grande città nazione del prossimo futuro, hai due sole possibilità: arrangiarti con lavori rischiosi o umili, oppure riuscire a trovare un impiego a Paradiso, la zona dove i ricchi vivono nel lusso più sfrenato e possono godere di una natura incontaminata. Ma se rubi o uccidi o solo metti in discussione l’autorità, quello che ti aspetta è la prigione definitiva, che sorge su un’isola vulcanica lontana dal mondo civile: Inferno.

“Costruita in modo da ricalcare l’inferno che Dante ha immaginato nella Divina Commedia, qui ogni reato ha il suo contrappasso. Piogge di fuoco, fiumi di lava, gelo, animali mostruosi rendono la vita difficile ai prigionieri che spesso muoiono prima di terminare la pena. Nessuno sceglierebbe di andare volontariamente a Inferno, tranne Alec, un giovane cresciuto nella parte sbagliata del mondo, quando scopre che la ragazza che ama, Maj, vi è stata mandata con una falsa accusa. Alec dovrà compiere l’impresa mai riuscita a nessuno, quella di scappare con lei dall’Inferno, combattendo per sopravvivere prima che chi ha complottato per uccidere entrambi riesca a trovarli…

“Il primo romanzo di una trilogia fantasy di grandissima potenza, scritta da uno degli autori italiani young adult più amati.”    —Amazon

The Rogue Theatre’s Dante’s Purgatorio (2014)

dante purgatorio tucson image

“Baliani has adapted Purgatorio, the second part of Dante’s Divine Comedy for the stage.” […]

“See this Rogue production, directed by Joseph McGrath, and you’d wonder why it hasn’t been done before (we could not find references to any other stage adaptations). It was completely engrossing.”   –Kathy Allen, “Review: The Rogue’s ‘Dante’s Purgatorio‘: Sins and shades shape an engrossing climb,” Arizona Daily Star, May 01, 2014

See also Sherrilyn Forrester’s review in Tucson Weekly, May 01, 2014.

Irena Lisiewicz’s Purgatorio Image Theatre

irena-lisiewiczs-purgatorio-image-theatreIrena Lisiewicz, a professional artist and costume and set designer, created a project entitled Purgatorio Image Theatre (2009-2013), inspired by Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy. To learn more about Lisiewicz and her works, view her LinkedIn profile, a Slideshare of her project Purgatorio Image Theatre, and a Picasa Web Album of her artwork.