Category Archive '“The Divine Comedy”'

26 Jul 2015

International “Scientific” Human Rights Organization Demand That Dante’s “Divine Comedy” Be Banned

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Detail: Dominico di Michelino, Dante and the Divine Comedy, fresco, Florence Cathedral, 1465.

The Telegraph‘s reportage demonstrates that the organized Left’s hankering to eradicate history is international in scope and goes much farther than the Confederate flag.

[Dante’s] classic work should be removed from school curricula, according to Gherush 92, a human rights organisation which acts as a consultant to UN bodies on racism and discrimination.

Dante’s epic is “offensive and discriminatory” and has no place in a modern classroom, said Valentina Sereni, the group’s president.

Divided into three parts – Hell, Purgatory and Heaven – the poem consists of 100 cantos, of which half a dozen were marked out for particular criticism by the group.

It represents Islam as a heresy and Mohammed as a schismatic and refers to Jews as greedy, scheming moneylenders and traitors, Miss Sereni told the Adnkronos news agency.

“The Prophet Mohammed was subjected to a horrific punishment – his body was split from end to end so that his entrails dangled out, an image that offends Islamic culture,” she said.

Homosexuals are damned by the work as being “against nature” and condemned to an eternal rain of fire in Hell.

“We do not advocate censorship or the burning of books, but we would like it acknowledged, clearly and unambiguously, that in the Divine Comedy there is racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic content. Art cannot be above criticism,” Miss Sereni said.

Schoolchildren and university students who studied the work lacked “the filters” to appreciate its historical context and were being fed a poisonous diet of anti-Semitism and racism, the group said.

It called for the Divine Comedy to be removed from schools and universities or at least have its more offensive sections fully explained.

Complete story.

Gherush 92 indictment (in Italian).

21 Aug 2012

Pop Inferno

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Elissa Schappell, in Vanity Fair, welcomes the appearance of Mary Jo Bang’s freewheeling and irreverent approach to Dante: Inferno: A New Translation

[T]he only good Hell to be in right now is poet Mary Jo Bang’s innovative, new translation of Dante’s Inferno (Graywolf), illustrated with drawings by Henrik Drescher. Bang’s thrillingly contemporary translation of the first part (the juiciest part) of Alighieri’s 14th-century poem The Divine Comedy is indeed epic. While staying true to Alighieri’s interpretations of religious faith, the bounds of morality, and the soul’s journey toward God, Bang’s sin-soaked voyage through the circles of Hell teems with references to such latter-day personages as John Wayne Gacy, South Park’s Eric Cartman, Stephen Colbert, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, and the Rolling Stones.


Bomb magazine has a not-very-exciting excerpt, consisting of Satan himself at the very bottom of Hell’s abyss. Only the usual Judas, Cassius, and Brutus appear, alas! I had been hoping to find the Archfiend this time munching on Andrew Sullivan, while making a mess of David Frum, Charles Johnson, and John Cole, but I suppose Mary Jo Bang doesn’t personally care about defectors from the political right, and all those guys are alive anyway.

If you want a serious translation of the Inferno, I would recommend the version by John Ciardi.

Via Andrew Sullivan.

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