School Zones Belong Inside Dante’s Inferno

“Those important pieces of classical writing that I read in college are a little fuzzy these days. That’s what happens when the music you listened to in college has been on classic rock stations for the past five years.

“But I need to reread Dante’s Inferno because I only remember (with the aid of Google) nine circles of hell in the poem.

“But I’m sure there is a 10th.

“The 10 circles of hell have to be limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud, treachery and school parking lots during pick-up/drop-off time.” […]    –Dale Miller, The Independent, September 9, 2018

The 9 Circles of Hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy based in Malta

“A lot of people are familiar with Dante’s Divine Comedy. A great masterpiece written by a guy who was either really creative or was really high.

The Divine Comedy tells the story of Dante as he travels through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven in order to find both God and his dead girlfriend Beatrice.

“Anyway, this guy stumbles upon the deceased poet Virgil who was kind of just chilling about. These two walk around the woods for some time until they come upon the gates of hell, which state ‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here’ which should totally be Tigne Point’s car park’s slogan, but whatever.

“Here are the nine circles of hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy reimagined in Malta.” […]    –ChiaraM, Lovin Malta, August 10, 2018

Beware of Dante’s (ERP) Inferno

“ERP implementation projects are large, complex endeavors that can quickly spiral out of control. Blown budgets and delayed implementations are not uncommon, and in the worst cases, failed ERP projects can cripple the entire organization.

“Despite risk management frameworks, robust development methodologies, and highly motivated teams, ERP initiatives still fall victim to poor decisions. In his “Divine Comedy,” Dante chronicles his journey through the nine circles of hell. To avoid a similar story for your ERP project, beware of these deadly ERP sins.” […]    –Shawn Stamp, CIO Dive, June 25, 2018

Why Dante’s Inferno Stays Relevant After 700 Years

“The 14th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri couldn’t have foreseen contemporary forms of hideous, malicious behavior—the Holocaust, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, genocide committed by ISIS.

“Yet, Dante’s nearly 700-year-old, three-part epic poem, the Divine Comedy—of which Inferno is the initial part—remains an influential piece of literature in exploring the origins of evil.

“Dante’s work has influenced or inspired music, novels, films, mobile apps, and even video games. Medieval manuscript illuminators and artists, including Sandro Botticelli and Salvador Dalí, have produced paintings mirroring stories Dante told. Most recently, Dante’s work was adapted for the crime and mystery film Inferno, starring Tom Hanks.

“When you have an actor like Tom Hanks starring in a movie adapted from best-selling novelist Dan Brown, you’re bound to get more questions about Dante than usual,” says Fabian Alfie, a professor in the University of Arizona department of French and Italian.

“But interest in Dante has never waned in the 700 years since he died,” Alfie says. “There is an unbroken tradition of Dante’s influence in Western culture since the 14th century. Dante has never stopped being popular because his poem deals with questions that are always relevant.”

“Ultimately, Alfie says, Dante was attempting to address the “big questions” associated with being: “What is evil? What is human nature? What is redemption, goodness, sanctity?” […]   –Monica Everett-Haynes, University of Arizona, Futurity, November 17, 2016

How I Discovered The 10th Circle of Hell: The Bolivian Bureaucracy

“According to Dante’s Inferno, there were supposedly only 9 circles of hell: Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery.  After what I’ve been through in the last week trying to procure a visa in Bolivia, I am officially recognizing the 10th circle of hell: the Bolivian Bureaucracy.

“I think the real reason Dante only described 9 circles of hell is because the 10th circle, the Bolivian Bureaucracy, apparently has a way out:  money.” […]    –Jojo Bobo, Corporate Monkey CPA, June 28, 2017

The Seven Deadly Social Networks

“Lust, of course, is Tinder. That’s easy. In Dante’s Inferno, a source of much seven-deadly-sin apocrypha, lustful souls are blown around forever like they’re stuck in a hurricane. Today they would be condemned to a similar cyclone—to swipe right forever but never get a match.

“Gluttony is Instagram. We hear sometimes of Tantalus, stuck in a pool below branches laden with fruit. His punishment was that the fruit always pulled away from his grasp, and the water always receded when he tried to drink. So it is with Instagram: The most tantalizing morsels pass in front of our eyes, and we can eat none of them.

“On to Greed. According to Dante, the greedy and avaricious are condemned to joust with each other using enormous heavy boulders, forever. What’s more, they are rendered unrecognizable—each soul appears as the blandest, dullest version of itself. Does that sound like LinkedIn or what? Mandelbaum’s translation put it particularly well:

… I saw multitudes
to every side of me; their howls were loud
while, wheeling weights, they used their chests to push.
They struck against each other; at that point,
each turned around and, wheeling back those weights,
cried out: “Hi, I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

“Sloth was Zynga once, per Hoffman, but Zynga is no more. Now sloth is Netflix. I know that’s not a social network, but, eh.

“Wrath, according to Dante, was a twin sin to sullenness. He wrote that they both came from the same essential error: Wrath is rage expressed, sullenness is rage unexpressed. And he condemned both the sullen and the wrathful to the Fifth Circle—where, in a foul marsh, the wrathful attacked each other unendingly, without ever winning; while the sullen sat beneath the murk and stewed and scowled and acted aloof. Rarely has there been a better description of Twitter.

“Envy makes people so desirous of what they don’t have that they become blind to what they have. That’s Pinterest. I don’t have a joke about it.

“And what about pride, the weightiest sin? Hoffman said it was Facebook, but I’m not so sure. Pride is sometimes considered the sin from which all others flow: the belief that one is essentially better than all one’s neighbors. It is, I imagine, something like telling everyone else they’re bad at what they do and then saying “ping me.” Pride is Medium.

“If Facebook doesn’t represent pride, then, what is it? Some theologians recognized two other sins beyond the original seven. The first was Vanity or Vainglory—an unrestrained belief in one’s own attractiveness, and a love of boasting. That’s Facebook.

“But the second of the new sins was Acedia, a word we have now largely lost but whose meaning survives somewhat in melancholy. It is the failure to do one’s work and take interest in the world—a cousin to boredom, exhaustion, and listlessness. It is the Hamlet Feeling. It is the feeling of Tumblr, it is the feeling of Deep YouTube—it is the feeling of the afternoon Internet.” […]    –Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, May 9, 2016

Leslye Headland, “Bachelorette” (2010)

leslye-headland-bachlorette-2010“…Bachelorette was the second in Ms. Headland’s series based on Dante’s seven deadly sins. The company has been presenting the plays in the order she has written them since she started in 2007 with Cinephilia, her lust play.
Bachelorette is about gluttony, which in Ms. Headland’s contemporary take is expressed through self-destructive addictions to alcohol, drugs, shopping, bad boyfriends and binge bulimia. With greed (Assistance), sloth (Surfer Girl), and wrath (Reverb) also under her belt, she is now completing Accidental Blonde, about envy.” [. . .]    –Celia McGee, The New York Times, July 13, 2010

See Also: IAMA Theater Company, Los Angeles

Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (2007)

philip-zimbardi-the-lucifer-effect-understanding-how-good-people-turn-evil-2007From Chapter One:
“Lucifer’s sin is what thinkers in the Middle Ages called ‘cupiditas.’ For Dante, the sins that spring from that root are the most extreme ‘sins of the wolf,’ the spiritual condition of having an inner black hole so deep within oneself that no amount of power or money can ever fill it. For those suffering the mortal malady called cupiditas, whatever exists outside of one’s self has worth only as it can be exploited by, or taken into one’s self. In Dante’s Hell those guilty of that sin are in the ninth circle, frozen in the Lake of Ice. Having cared for nothing but self in life, they are encased in icy Self for eternity. By making people focus only on oneself in this way, Satan and his followers turn their eyes away from the harmony of love that unites all living creatures.
The sins of the wolf cause a human being to turn away from grace and to make self his only good–and also his prison. In the ninth circle of the Inferno, the sinners, possessed of the spirit of the insatiable wolf, are frozen in a self-imposed prison where prisoner and guard are fused in an egocentric reality.”    –Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect (2007)

Contributed by Aisha Woodward (Bowdoin, ’08)

Fritz Lang, “Metropolis” (1927)

fritz-lang-metropolis-1927“At about 80-90 minutes into the film, the Seven Deadly Sins with Death are presented as statues in a church. Death is playing a bone as if it were a flute, and the statues of the Seven Deadly Sins come to life.”    –Ian Eternick

Contributed by Ian Eternick (Luther College, ’11)

Sin-O-Mints: “For the Sinner in You”

sin-o-mints.jpg

Found at: Santosha (retrieved on September 15, 2006)
See also: Philosopher’s Guild (retrieved on June 7, 2013)