Cartoonist Steve Bell’s “Brexit Hell”

Steve-Bell-Brexit-Hell-Cartoons-TreacheryIn early December 2018 British cartoonist Steve Bell published a series of Dante-inspired images in his If… cartoon strip. Adapting Doré’s illustrations of Cocytus (with one addition from the Malebolge), Bell’s cartoons comment on the Parliamentary Debate over Brexit. Contributor Nick Havely glosses, “[the cartoons] depict Theresa May’s journey through ‘Brexit Hell’ accompanied by Arlene Foster (leader of the N. Ireland ultra-Protestant DUP on whom May is dependent for her majority). The Dantean sequence began on 29 November and seems to have culminated last Thursday [6 December] in an encounter with Trump as Lucifer.”

The If… cartoons can be viewed on The Guardian‘s website at the following links: Nov 29, Dec 3, Dec 4, Dec 5, and Dec 6.

Contributed by Nick Havely

The Returno to the Inferno by Luigi Enrico Pietra D’Oro (2018)

The Returno to the Inferno by Luigi Enrico Pietra D’Oro (Lewis Goldstein) is a book-length epic poem that follows up on Dante’s Inferno with an original, modern discourse (written entirely in rhymed poetry, the same structure Dante used for his original) about what hell is really about in current times—and it’s closer to home than you think. Luigi is now older and less tolerant of the misery and loneliness he sees in our modern, crowded world. And who would be better to help Luigi see the world for what it really is than Robin Williams (or what’s left of him after his own private hell…). The journey of hellish comedy continues with cameo appearances of other laughter-inducing luminaries and even a popular talk-show host whose guest is no other than Satan—who’s not too shabby as a guest, actually. There are great historical figures, as well, who are fittingly housed with the criminally insane, and just rewards for corporate leaders, religious clergy (topped by a lively Pope, for example, who awaits Luigi in Purgatory), politicians and the good old NRA. The journey is portrayed on a large canvas with vivid scenes and clever dialogue, and for a willing reader who cares to suspend disbelief and accept the surreal as real, there’s a richness here that’s unique and memorable. In summary, as with his previous books, the author manages to simultaneously induce bursts of uncontrollable laughter and bouts of unconventional self-reflection. An exceptional book!” — The Editorial Board of the Columbia Review of Books & Film

The book is available on Amazon.

Contributed by Lewis Goldstein

Retirement tips for Steve Bannon and others

[…] “Learn something new.

“Mr. Bannon also might want to expand his cultural horizons, perhaps by learning a language of one of the few nationalities that he doesn’t want barred from the country. I’d suggest Italian, which would give him the ability to read Dante’s Inferno in the original. That should give him an idea of his future travel plans.” […]    –Charles Sykes, The New York Times, January 6, 2018

“Dear President Bannon”

 

“Dear President Bannon,

“Congratulations on your upgrade to Malebolge, the Eighth Circle of the Abyss. This tier of our eternal rewards program is reserved for customers of our Fraud department, including flatterers, adulterers, hypocrites, and thieves. And what a dedicated customer you have been. ..” […]    –Nick Douglas, McSweeney’s, February 15, 2017

 

Trovato canto inedito: “Quelli che se la sono cercata”

canto-inedito-nuovo-girone-lercio“ROMA – Questa è la prima terzina di un canto dell’Inferno di Dante, rimasto nascosto fino ad oggi e tornato alla luce dopo settecento anni, in cui il poeta racconta di un girone inedito, dedicato a ‘Coloro che se la son cercata.’ L’autore del sensazionale ritrovamento è Benigno Lucarelli, professore di Letteratura Italiana all’Università di Catanzaro, che ha annunciato la scoperta con un articolo su Il Volgare, settimanale specializzato in letteratura medievale e turpiloqui. ‘Il canto risulta incredibilmente attuale – ha dichiarato il professore – specie per il fatto che il Sommo Poeta sembri voler accontentate ipocriti e maldicenti inserendo gli sventurati in un girone dell’Inferno, tanto che alcuni di voi potrebbero pensare che in realtà l’ho scritto io, ieri sera, dopo aver preso qualche droga di troppo. Ma ovviamente non è così. No, davvero.'” —“Divina Commedia. Trovato canto inedito dell’Inferno: il girone di ‘Quelli che se la sono cercata’,” Lercio.it

Contributed by Chiara Montera (University of Pittsburgh ’17)

 

Venturino Camaiti’s Divine Comedy in 100 Satirical Sonnets

Venturino-Camaiti-Divine-Comedy-100-Sonetti-Fiorentineschi

The Divine Comedy, narrated in 100 satirical sonnets composed in the Florentine vernacular, by Venturino Camaiti in 1921.

See the digital copy available through the University of Wisconsin Libraries here.

Contributed by Chiara Montera (University of Pittsburgh)

Mallory Ortberg, “Dante Casually Running Into Beatrice In Art History”

dante6-e1441675494898-800x0-c-default

oh hello sorry, i didn’t see you there, ladies was so busy reading my book here hello, beverly oh, Beatrice, you say? I forgot I meet so many women and learn their names on a daily basis, you know hard to remember all of them

 

[…]

dante8

hi i’m so sorry to bother you it’s me Dante Alighieri from life? from being alive? we met that one time when you were eight and then I saw you again briefly nine years later and then you died after you married someone else? idk if you remember me anyhow my plan was sort of just to follow you around for eternity, heaven-wise i hope that’s cool with you? are these your friends? cool cool

See more: Mallory Ortberg, The Toast, September 8, 2015

Satire from The Onion: “Hell Now a Thriving Epicenter of Gay Culture”

“THE MALEBOLGE, NETHER REGIONS OF DARKNESS—Noting the incredible rate at which the community has grown, sources confirmed Thursday that Hell, the Endless Kingdom of Misery, is now a booming haven of gay culture.

“The Great Abyss, home of the damned, is reportedly inhabited by some 600 million condemned homosexual or transgender souls, a large proportion of its total population, and has by many accounts blossomed into an oasis of gay activism and community events.

” ‘I’ve only been here for a few months, but I’ve already fallen in love with it,’ said 49-year-old Daniel Edelson,..” […]

“The gay community has really flourished here, and I have to say, they’ve been great for the place,” said Nephirem the Malevolent, a 10,000-year-old, 70-foot-tall minotaur who has resided in hell since rising from the ashes of a smokeless flame. “At the end of the day, they’re just like anyone else. Everyone has the right to express their love for whomever they want. They don’t bother me in the slightest, and if anything, we in the Dark Lord’s Army encourage any and all public displays of affection between same-sex couples.”    —The Onion, September 19, 2013

Contributed by Olivia Holmes

Rolando Perez, “The Electric Comedy” (2000)

rolando-perez-the-electric-comedy-2000“Confronting not the papacy but the postmodern world of the Internet and global economics, this collection of satirical poems inspired by Dante’s Inferno explores the comic and tragic realities of contemporary life. At times graphic and abrasive, the language and style in this stirring collection mirrors the violence and social fragmentation that it describes. The imagined thoughts and interests of Dante as he composed the Inferno infuse this edgy, inventive collection that invites readers to participate in the creation of new mythologies that draw from the wisdom of the past.”    —Google Books