Meghan Healey, “Subterraneo: A Cruel Puppet’s Guide to Underground Living” (2010)

meghan-healey-subterraneo-a-cruel-puppets-guide-to-underground-living-2010“…The piece is a puppet mash-up of Dante’s Inferno and real-life subway stories gathered by Ms. Healey and a half-dozen student volunteers at Queens College, where she is an assistant professor of costume and scenic design.
Plans call for Homeless Bob to guide the Commutrix — an earnest rider not unlike Ms. Healey — through the subway the way Virgil led Dante through the nine circles of hell, from Limbo to Betrayal. Along the route, they will be serenaded in Spanish by the Undead Mariachi Trio and watch beggars like Legless Joe bewail their afflictions to tug on the heartstrings and purse strings of weary commuters.
Depending on the scenes, to be written by Ms. Healey and several collaborating playwrights, Homeless Bob will be funny, friendly or furious. ‘I think of him as a modern-day New York Virgil, if Virgil was homeless in New York,’ Ms. Healey, 34, said. ‘He’s not as benevolent. He’s angry.'” [. . .]    –David Gonzalez, The New York Times, September 17, 2010

Peter Kattenberg’s Progress on the Divine Comedy

peter-kattenberg-divine-comedy-drawingsSunday, Sept. 12th, 2010 an exposition of Peter Kattenberg’s work in progress on Dante’s Divina Commedia will open at Arminius, Rotterdam (NL). The guerilla exhibition is part of Festival Witte de With that celebrates the opening of the new Arts Season. Kattenberg’s Dante exposition runs up to Dante’s Day of Death (Sept. 14th) to commemorate the poet and opens during a remonstrant church service to give Dante a new lease on life, both visually and spiritually.

See mores images on YouTube and Vimeo.

Also, at Leiden University Library, there is an exhibition called “Dante, Darling of the People” that opens Sept 14th, 2010.

Herman Melville’s Copy of the Comedy

herman-melvilles-copy-of-the-comedy“. . . Associate professor of English Steven Olsen-Smith is a leader in that scholarly community. He is the primary researcher responsible for tracking the recovery of Melville’s dispersed personal library of around 1,000 books and serves as general editor of Melville’s Marginalia Online, a long-term project devoted to the editing and publication of markings and annotations in the books that survive from Melville’s library.
Olsen-Smith recently borrowed Melville’s copy of Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ from collector William Reese as part of the Marginalia project’s pending transition to a new digital format that will display photographic images of marked and annotated books with commentary on their significance to Melville’s writings. The book will be on campus through March 31, and Olsen-Smith’s student interns currently are working to catalog notations and recover erasures. . .
‘Melville marked subject matter dealing with issues of free will and fate, original sin and divine justice, and aspects of subject matter and rhetoric that relate to the book’s epic character,’ Olsen-Smith said. ‘It is clear Melville read and marked the book at different points throughout his life, and the interns are identifying parallels between the marginalia to Dante and subject matter in his writings.'” [. . .]    –Erin Ryan, Boise State University Update, March 31, 2010

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

“My Dante,” Frank Ambrosio and Edward Maloney, Georgetown University


“Conceived as a digital incarnation of the medieval illuminated manuscript, My Dante fosters an entirely new type of contemplative reading experience. MyDante encourages readers to experience the poem in a way that is profoundly personal, while at the same time enabling a collaborative experience of a journey shared by a community of readers.
MyDante was originally developed for a philosophy course at Georgetown University, and a public version is currently in development that will be free and open to anyone.”    —My Dante Blog

Visit Georgetown’s My Dante site.

Fort Lewis College Theater, “Dante’s Inferno” (2008)

fort-lewis-college-theater-dantes-inferno“Written by Dante Alighieri.
Adapted for Stage by Desiree Henderson & Kurt Lancaster.
Directed by Kathryn Moller.
Winter 2008: Throughout history, poets and philosophers have struggled to define true love. In the Phaedrus, Socrates explains that love is not simply the act of being caught passionately by a beautiful body or face, but by the eternal form of beauty itself. In Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Romeo describes love as, “too rough, too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.” And even today, pop stars, authors and actors struggle to define and relate this elusive emotion in a tangible way. Dante Alighieri embarked on a similar quest. In this contemporary stage adaptation of Dante’s Inferno, Dante journeys into the pits of hell searching for the beauty of love which touched him for only an instant. Each circle of hell reveals tragic, and sometimes violent exchanges between people who are damned to repeat their sins again and again.”    —Fort Lewis Theatre

Contributed by Katherine Avery

“Yale Press Bans Images of Muhammad in New Book”


“So Yale University and Yale University Press consulted two dozen authorities, including diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism, and the recommendation was unanimous: The book, “The Cartoons That Shook the World,” should not include the 12 Danish drawings that originally appeared in September 2005. What’s more, they suggested that the Yale press also refrain from publishing any other illustrations of the prophet that were to be included, specifically, a drawing for a children’s book; an Ottoman print; and a sketch by the 19th-century artist Gustave Dore’ of Muhammad being tormented in Hell, an episode from Dante’s Inferno that has been depicted by Botticelli, Blake, Rodin and Dali'” [. . .]    –Patricia Cohen, The New York Times, August 12, 2009

Yale Cabaret, “Funny as Hell” (2009)


“Dante’s Divine Comedy is a staple of the so-called western canon. Aged and distinguished–though mostly just age–like fine wine and pungent cheese, it’s the classic man’s classic. Roughly seven centuries later (incidentally, a divine number of completion), Russell Taylor, Brian Dambacher DRA ’11 and Dave Dambacher breathe new life into the familiar narrative with their collaborative creation, ‘Funny as Hell’… a baptism under fire.
Directed by Dambacher and Taylor, ‘Funny as Hell’ goes up this weekend at the Yale Cabaret. It features Taylor, Darlene McCullough and Ryan Hales DRA ’11. And in keeping with themes of the afterlife, this particular version marks the piece’s third reincarnation.”    –Nicholle Manners, Yale Daily News, January 16, 2009

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

Guy Raffa, “Danteworlds” (2007)


guy-raffa-danteworlds-2007-2009“It’s not a video game and it’s not CliffsNotes–Danteworlds is ‘an integrated multimedia journey’ through Dante’s Divine Comedy. Situated somewhere in cyberspace between EverQuest and Solitaire, it’s a terrific way to lose a month’s worth of lunchtime in a cubicle. Most literary texts don’t lend themselves to the ‘integrated multimedia’ approach, which often just whisks readers off the page into biographical or literary analysis land and strands them there. But, in the case of The Divine Comedy, and perhaps other epic poetry–the Odyssey comes to mind–the approach is a perfect marriage of medium and message, launching the reader right into the allegorical action, heightening rather than dulling appreciation and comprehension.” [. . .]    –Vicky Raab, The New Yorker, January 9, 2009

Dante at a Student Apartment in Bologna


“Inexpressibly happy that even in the utter chaos, Dante was able to say a few words at the party. Not what the quote wall is for, but it will do.”    –Darren Fishell (Bowdoin, ’09)

Found at Fumettotex (retrieved on February 10, 2008)

Kevin J. Gross, “Dante’s Vision”


A Mandelbrot Set Fractal (retrieved on January 24, 2007)