“Dante Turns 750”

Kleiner-Dante-Turns-Seven-Hundred-and-Fifty-690In an essay for the New Yorker in late May 2015 – the approximate date of the 750th anniversary of Dante’s birth – John Kleiner (Williams College) offers reflections on Dante’s enduring hold on the Italian imagination:

“Dante’s seven-hundred-and-fiftieth birthday is sometime in the coming month—he was born, he tells us in Paradisounder the sign of Gemini—and, to mark the occasion, more than a hundred events are planned. These include everything from the minting of a new two-euro coin, embossed with the poet’s profile, to a selfie-con-Dante campaign. (Cardboard cutouts of the poet are being set up in Florence, and visitors are encouraged to post pictures of themselves with them using the hashtag #dante750.) There’s talk of extending the celebrations to 2021, the seven-hundredth anniversary of the poet’s death.”  —  John Kleiner, “Dante Turns Seven Hundred and Fifty,” The New Yorker