“Walking With Dante” – The Colin McEnroe Show

On a 2015 episode of Connecticut Public Radio’s The Colin McEnroe Show, Colin McEnroe, Chion Wolf, and guests Joseph Luzzi, Ron Jenkins, and Rod Dreher discuss the dark wood of the Inferno.

“The story of The Divine Comedy is an adventure story based on Dante’s real life in 14th century Italy. He was deeply wrapped up in the politics of his time. He was a city official, diplomatic negotiator, poet, and a man who dared to cross the pope. He was exiled from his city, never to return under threat of death. He left all behind, except his unrequited love for Beatrice.

“Nearly broken and in a ‘dark wood’ of grief in midlife, Dante wrote a masterpiece that is remarkably relevant today for all of us who have ever been in the dark wood of loss. This hour, we talk to three people who walked with Dante through the dark wood.” [. . .]    –Betsy Kaplan, Connecticut Public Radio, September 28, 2015.

You can listen to the episode and check out the associated links on the WNPR site.

Classic Serial: Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy

BBC Radio 4’s Classic Serial program offers a reading of the Divine Comedy by professional actors, as well as a few behind-the-scenes clips on the making of the radio program.

“Blake Ritson, David Warner and John Hurt star in Stephen Wyatt’s dramatization of Dante’s epic poem – the story of one man’s incredible journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise.”     –BBC Radio 4, Classic Serial, 2019.

You can see more of the Classic Serial episodes and behind-the-scenes extras on the BBC Radio 4 site.

Bleak Expectations, The Story So Far, BBC Radio 4 (2011)

bleak expectations season 4 ep 2

“As Volume Four opens, Pip Bin must enlist the help of his former nemesis, Mr. Gently Benevolent, to fight a new evil that is spreading terror and cake crumbs through the streets of London. Then follows a journey to the Underworld, a gunfight at the All Right I Suppose Corral, Harry Biscuit the dinosaur and his many wives, and an epic battle between good and evil on the plains of Russia.” [ . . . ]

“The fourth series takes its inspiration from sources farther and wider than ever before. Episode 1, “A Tolerable Life De-Happified,” spoofs Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — with just a hint of the Hannibal Lecter stories as Pip seeks advice from the imprisoned Mr. Benevolent. The next episode, “A Now Spoiled Life Smashed Some More,” enters a Hell not unlike that of Dante’s Inferno, while Episode 3, “A Wretched Life Made Much, Much Sadder”, takes a trip to America to echo the Gunfight at the OK Corral.”   –Richard McGinlay, “Bleak Expectations: The Story so Far,” Sci Fi Online (2011)

ABC’s Radio Poolside Story: “Star for Sale” (2009)

patrick-holland-star-for-sale-abc-radio-poolside-story-2009I followed the crowd down Fernberg Road onto Boys St where men in suits and shining shoes were selling stars. At first I did not know that was what they were doing. One suited man stood on a soapbox. The others sat behind a row of telescopes and their index fingers directed eyes about the firmament. I thought they were an astronomy club. But people were writing cheques; and a great celestial map clipped to an escritoire had pins and pen-marks all over it. Then I realised the man on the soapbox was conducting an auction.
I saw the weakest star of the Cross go for $100 000; someone whispered to the effect that he had bought the four major ones and was not greatly attached to this last only he needed it to complete the piece.
‘What would the Cross be without it?’ said the auctioneer to encourage the man through the bidding. The man intended the famed constellation for a light-feature in his garden. I felt a little sad for the ghosts of Cook and Magellan, lost upon dark waters below a bewildering sky.
In the background a ruckus was being subdued by the agency. Two men and an agent were fighting. It seemed the first star Dante saw when he emerged from the Inferno had been sold in a previous lot and there was a dispute over its authenticity. The agent was trying to reassure the man that though Florence was indeed in the Northern hemisphere, Dante had walked down through the Earth and emerged on the other side. The man’s companion was showing the agent Canto XXXIV and the line where Dante mysteriously turns back in space and for a while believes he is going deeper into the pit.
. . .so the night proceeded and all the stars were sold. One by one.
The final lot was a small fleck of a star, barely visible and only now toward three o’clock in winter. By this time there was little money or interest left in the auction. The auctioneer began the lot sheepishly at a thousand dollars. I put up my hand amidst the scattering, disinterested crowd and said ‘Ten’. The auctioneer laughed. He looked around the dispersing crowd and laughed again, but his confidence was gone.
‘It’s a star, you realize?’
‘I know,’ I said, stepping closer to the soapbox. ‘It’s worth much more, but ten is all I have.’
The auctioneer scowled:
‘I’d buy it myself if I had anywhere to put it.’
Reluctantly he re-started the auction. He called ‘Ten dollars’ three drawn out times and disgustedly brought the hammer down.
‘I expect you can arrange finance.’
I handed him the ten-dollar note.
‘Now, where do you want it delivered?’
‘I don’t. Leave it where it is.’
‘But it’s your star. You’ve bought it!’ He held a contract up to my face as proof.
‘I know. Only, leave it where it is. I like it there.’
I signed the contract and the auctioneer walked away shaking his head.
An energetic few had already set about taking down their new possessions. The Cross was gone to the rich man’s garden. The man who bought Dante’s star had it on the pavement, looking at it suspiciously where it burned as hot as a con. He was threatening to default on the deposit.
I always liked the smallest stars, anyway, I told myself: the ones that show the reality of the dark as well as the possibility of light. Perhaps tomorrow I would stay up late again and see my star rise alone in the east.”    –Patrick Holland, ABC Pool, 2009

Profs. Guy Raffa and Arielle Saiber on EA’s “Dante’s Inferno” Video Game

profs-guy-raffa-and-arielle-saiber-on-eas-dantes-inferno-videogame

Jon Gordon interviews Arielle Saiber on Future Tense (now Marketplace Tech) February 17, 2010.
Read more about the interview on the Bowdoin website.

profs-guy-raffa-and-arielle-saiber-on-eas-dantes-inferno-videogame

Benjamin Popper interviews Guy Raffa and Arielle Saiber for his article “Dante Alighieri: Epic Poet, Ass Kicker”
The Atlantic, February 2010.

Car Talk

car-talk One of the Magliozzi brothers says, “And even though Dante says ‘OK, make it 10 circles!’ whenever he hears us say it, this is NPR, National Public Radio.”    –Episode 0945, “Good News! It’s Going to Cost a Fortune!”, Car Talk, November 7, 2009

http://www.cartalk.com/ct/review/show.jsp?showid=200945 (retrieved December 29, 2009)

Contributed by Alex Bertland (Niagara University)

Radio Inferno

radio-inferno-1993 “In 1993, German artist Andreas Ammer teamed up with members of Einsturzende Neubauten and legendary DJ John Peel to produce a radio play of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The result was Radio Inferno, with music by Einsturzende’s F.M. Einheit, and starring Blixa Bargeld as Dante, Phil Minton as Virgil, and John Peel as “The Radio” (the narrator). Caspar Brotzmann played guitar, and the work includes guest appearance from Bootsy Collins and many others.”    —WFMU, February 18, 2007

Contributed by Jenny Davidson