Khan’s Bookshelf in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

star-trek-wrath-khan-bookshelf-infernoStar Trek: The Wrath of Khan involves a complex weaving of many borrowed elements, the most important of which is the Star Trek television series, as well as Moby-Dick, and A Tale of Two Cities. The intertextual mix is suggested in a shot early in the film when we are first introduced to Khan by scanning his bookshelf. In addition to a sign from his ship, the Botany Bay (named after a historic port in Australia through which many convicts entered the country), there are Dante’s Inferno, King Lear, The King James Bible, Moby-Dick, and two copies of Paradise Lost. Each book suggests aspects of Khan’s character. Though other references remain implicit, the Moby-Dick references are explicitly explored throughout the movie.” — Posted by ebreilly on Critical Commons

“Westworld” Just Created A New Version Of Dante’s Inferno

“HBO’s series Westworld draws inspiration from any number of different sources. Just this season (season 2), Episode 3 entitled ‘Virtù e Fortuna’ drew from the famous early Italian political theorist, Machiavelli, while the following Episode 4 entitled ‘Riddle of the Sphinx’ was heavy with references to the ancient Greek myth of Oedipus, the most recent episode that aired last this past Sunday, ‘Les Écorchés’ seems to be drawing from the famous 14th-century Italian poem by Dante Alighieri, the Inferno.” […]    –Matthew Gabriele, Forbes, June 4, 2018

Dante and the Ninth Circle Align in a Shocking New “ARROW”

“Turns out Emiko isn’t just working for the Ninth Circle — she’s running it.

“After revealing last week that Emiko has been working with new big bad Dante, Laurel wasted no time bringing that factoid to Oliver’s attention. Then, by the second act or so, Oliver had confirmed it was true. This is one of those plot points they’ve been known to drag out in the past, so nice to see them just get to the meat of that reveal in “Inheritance” and start dealing with the fallout. Oliver is keen to give Emiko the benefit of the doubt, something she uses to her advantage to manipulate him for a while to get the drop on Team Arrow.” […]    –Trent Moore, SyFyWire, March 25, 2019

Firefly and the Special Level of Hell

In the 2002-2003 science fiction television series Firefly, one of the main characters is threatened with a “special level of Hell” in the clip below.

You can watch Firefly on Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, and on Vudu.

Contributed by Philip Smith (University of the Bahamas)

Westworld S01E05: “Contrapasso” (2016)

Episode 5 of the first season of the HBO original series Westworld is called “Contrapasso.”

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To read about key moments from the episode, see this October 30, 2016, blogpost on The Hollywood Reporter (beware of spoilers!).

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818, 1831)

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“Oh! No mortal could support the horror of that countenance. A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch. I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then; but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.” — Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Chapter 5)

Contributed by Kate Geraghty (Bowdoin, ’07) and Megan Alvarado (University of Texas at Austin, ’18)

John Sayles, Brother from Another Planet (1984)

brotherfromanotherplanet-new

The main character, an escaped slave from another planet, meets a character who calls himself “Virgil,” a rastafarian who speaks in verse and helps guide The Brother through a dark moment.

Walter M. Miller, Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz (1956)

canticle-for-leibowitz“And again: Vexilla regis inferni prodeunt… Forth come the banners of the King of Hell, whispered memory of that perverted line from an ancient commedia. It nagged like an unwanted tune in his thought.”  (Part Two, Fiat Lux, p. 143 in the Bantam edition of 1988).

Clifford “Dante” Simak

tempo-senza-tempo-clifford-dante-simak

A mistaken middle name for “D.” (it is actually Donald).  The translation is from 1970.  The original novel is entitled The Goblin Reservation (1968).

Contributed by Gianni Montanari

Dan Brown, Inferno (2013)

dan-brown-inferno-2013Inferno, Dan Brown’s new book about Dante, is coming out on May 14, 2013 from Doubleday in the U.S., and Transworld Publishers in the UK (a division of Random House). Brown announced that he was writing something new in May 2012. Though Brown had been cryptic about the topic of the book, he has now revealed more information. The book will again feature The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and The Lost Symbol‘s lead character Robert Langdon. Brown also noted on The Today Show that it ‘will be set in Europe, in the most fascinating place I’ve ever seen’ (we’re guessing Florence, Italy since that’s where Dante wrote, and Florence’s Duomo church features on the cover of the book). Transworld’s press release for the book relates a bit more: the book will revolve around one of ‘history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces’ (we’re assuming Dante’s Divine Comedy, with a focus on the Inferno portion, due to the title of the book).

“The title was announced this morning on The Today Show. Readers were invited to participate in the unveiling of the title by posting on Facebook or tweeting, using the hashtag #DanBrownToday that they were helping unveil the title of Dan Brown’s newest book. These readers’ profile pictures then claimed a tile in a mosaic. After enough readers contributed their title suggestions, the new title was revealed. Even if you’ve never read a Dan Brown book, you can guess that the man really enjoys his puzzles.”    –Zoe Triska, The Huffington Post, January 15, 2013

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See also: Janet Maslin, “On a Scavenger Hunt to Save Most Humans,” The New York Times, May 12, 2013